Civil servants fear ‘chaotic’ decentralisation of youth, care services

Many officials believe the transfer of national government responsibilities for youth work, home care and sheltered work schemes to local councils will proceed with difficulty and one in five predict it will be chaotic, the Telegraaf reports on Tuesday.

The figures come from research by local government news service involving almost 1,000 local government civil servants. Officials in cities with more than 100,000 residents are most pessimistic. One in four of them expect a chaotic transfer of powers.

Two-thirds of local civil servants support the decentralisation of some services but almost 50% think the preparations have not been done properly in terms of budgets and manpower.


The transfer of powers, coupled with major cuts in the budgets, takes place officially at the beginning of next year.

The government’s macro-economic planning agency CPB, patient organisations and the Council of State – the government’s most senior advisory body – have all issued warnings about the change being made too quickly.

By shifting care duties from central government to the local authorities, ministers say they can cut spending and boost efficiency.

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation