Holidays becoming unaffordable for growing numbers of workers


More people are staying at home over the summer because they find holidays too expensive, according to budget advice agency Nibud.

One in four people in the Netherlands said they were taking a holiday this year, with nearly two-thirds of them (64%) giving the high cost as the main reason. In 2017 54% of those who stayed at home said they could not afford to go away, while in 2016 the figure was 42%.

Nibud director Arjan Vliegenthart said the problem was particularly acute among people who earned less than the median wage. ‘They have less to spend and find it too expensive to go on holiday,’ he said.

Nibud’s annual survey also found that increasing numbers of workers are spending their holiday pay (vakantiegeld) on bills or debts rather than summer breaks. The proportion has raised in the last four years from 12% to 18%.

The vakantiegeld rule allows companies to withhold a proportion of their employees’ wages and pay it out in May so they have money to spend on summer holidays. The mechanism is also built into the state pension and some benefits.

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