Dutch local authorities are bringing in their own rules for the one-off energy allowance for people on low incomes, with some applying a lower cut off point than others, a survey by RTL Nieuws has shown
The allowance is for people who are facing financial difficulty because of the soaring energy prices and the €800 bonus is meant for people whose income does not exceed 120% of the social minimum.
For families this means the income cannot be higher than €1,777 a month. For a single person the limit is €1,244 a month.
However, not all municipalities apply the 120% rule as advised by the minister in charge, Carola Schouten.
Some 250 of the 344 Dutch local authority areas stick to the 120% limit while in 37, the income at which people qualify for the allowance is higher. In five cases the limit has been set at a lower level.
That means that a couple with a joint net income of €1,900 will qualify for the allowance in The Hague but not in Amsterdam. In 17 of the municipalities single parents with children get a bigger allowance than single households.
The Hague and Rotterdam are the most generous with 130% and 140% of the social minimum while The Hague has also upped the allowance to €900. ‘It is not just the energy prices that justify this bonus. Inflation is also higher and that means higher grocery bills,’ social policy chief Arjen Kapteijns told RTL.
Rotterdammers are profiting from a gift of €15 million from charity De Verre Bergen, set up by a rich shipping family, which means up to 83,000 households qualify for the allowance.
Delft is among the councils which, for now, apply a lower income limit. That is because the municipality is bad financial shape, a spokesman said.
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