Dutch pensioners face higher health insurance premiums and income tax payments from 2016, political sources have told broadcaster RTL.
The plan to cut a number of tax benefits for pensioners will be published on September 16 when the government presents its 2015 spending plans to parliament, RTL says.
The tax increases have been agreed with three opposition parties – the D66 Liberals and two minor Christian parties – in order make sure they have majority support in the upper house of parliament.
RTL says the government plans to save nearly €400m by cutting tax breaks for pensioners, and that those with considerable private assets will be hit especially hard.
Ministers also plan to increase the income-dependent element in health insurance paid by everyone without an employer. Although the self-employed will get some compensation for this, pensioners will not.
The self-employed not only pay standard health insurance fees of around €120 a month but an additional 5% of their income on the first €55,000 they earn.
The cuts are necessary because the government has dropped its plans to replace various extra benefits for poorer families – such as healthcare, child and housing benefit – by a single payment. The move proved too complicated to introduce.
This means social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher has to compensate for the anticipated savings elsewhere.
Pensioners’ groups have described the decision as ‘scandalous’. ‘These measures are targeting a specific group of pensioners who have already been hit hard in recent years,’ Liane den Haan of the pensioners’ union ANBO said.
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