The number of people of working age claiming basic welfare benefits in the Netherlands was up 12,000 in June, compared with June 2016, the national statistics office CBS said on Thursday.
In total, the number of people claiming welfare (bijstand) who have a ‘non-western’ background rose 16,000 over the period while the number of native Dutch and western immigrants on welfare fell 5,300, the CBS said.
The increase is largely due to a rise in the number of refugees from Syria and Eritrea claiming the basic benefit, the CBS said.
In total, some 472,000 people of working age are living on welfare benefits, almost half of whom are over the age of 45.
In addition, 50,500 pensioners who have not worked the required 50 years in the Netherlands to qualify for a full state pension are also claiming top-up welfare benefits, the figures show.
That is a rise of 2,500 on a year ago and takes the total number of welfare claims to 522,000.
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