Almost half the 450,000 people claiming welfare benefits don’t want to work or say they are too sick to do so, the national statistics office CBS said on Thursday.
By law, all welfare (bijstand) claimants are supposed to look for work and councils have a range of penalties at their disposal, include slashing benefits, to ensure they do so.
The CBS says the longer someone claims welfare, the less likely they are to make an effort to find a job. Of those on the benefit for less than a year, 70% are keen to work. But after three years, that figure has slumped to just 40%.
By contrast, 93% of people claiming unemployment benefits (ww) are keen to get back to work, the CBS said.
The figures used in the analysis date from 2014, when 1.2 million people were claiming some form of benefit.
The CBS also said on Thursday that the number of unemployed in the Netherlands fell again in May and is now around 6.3% of the working population. In total, 448,000 people were claiming ww benefits last month.