Compensating people on low incomes because of soaring inflation and energy prices is up to both the government and employers, Carola Schouten, the minister for eradicating poverty, told television show Nieuwsuur on Wednesday evening.
While the cabinet is doing what it can – and has already promised the poorest households an extra €800 – wage levels also need to be looked at, she said.
‘This is a conversation employers and unions should be having,’ she said. ‘Wages are only going up marginally but we should be looking to sectors where there is room [for more].’
In total, the cabinet has allocated €6 billion to help reduce the impact on low income families and tax cuts are being planned, she said. ‘But employers should be looking at what they can do,’ she said. ‘This is a conversation that should take place during wage negotiations, but I think everyone has a role to play. This is a shared responsibility.’
Prime minister Mark Rutte said at the beginning of the month that the Dutch must accept being ‘a little poorer’ and that not everyone could be compensated for the sharp rise in prices.
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