Charities call for higher poverty line limit as requests for help increase
The government should up the poverty line limit because the number of families unable to meet basic needs is increasing, charities have said.
Natalie Boerebach, director of national charity Stichting Urgente Noden, told broadcaster NOS more people have applied for help this year in the 100 towns and cities where the charity is active, despite government support measures, such as the energy cap.
‘People are dealing with the after effects of the coronavirus crisis. Their savings are gone and they have no buffer for unforeseen circumstances. They are having to choose between buying a Christmas present and paying the insurance. This causes long term stress and human suffering,’ she told NOS.
Some 80% of the people who asked for support were single, or single parent households. The poverty line limit for single households has been set at a net amount of €1460 a month this year but is expected to be raised to €1533 in 2023.
That does not mean a person on slightly more than this will find it easier to make ends meet, SCP researcher Stella Hof told the broadcaster. ‘That is why we are looking at widening the criteria. We will take into account if the person is able to have a social life, for instance by going to a sports club or celebrate a birthday.’
At the moment some 540,000 people in the Netherlands are living below the poverty line. The government is aiming to bring this down to 430,000 in 2023 as higher benefits and a increase in the minimum wage take effect.
Spending power has dropped 4% in 2022 and will continue to drop at the same rate the same in 2023 but, government macro economic unit CPB said, the number of people living below the poverty line is expected to drop next year.
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