Cutting pensions will hit hopes of more family carers, say campaigners
Government plans to cut the state pensions of elderly people who move in with their children are stopping families from caring from elderly relatives, the Volkskrant reports on Tuesday.
From July 2015, pensioners who share a home with their children will have their state pension (AOW) cut by around EUR 300 a month to around EUR 740.
The government says that by sharing a home, pensioners have fewer costs and therefore need lower benefits.
The same will apply to people claiming welfare (bijstand).
However, the national carer and volunteers association Mezzo says the plan is frustrating children who wish to care for their frail parents.
‘Families are putting their plans on hold because of the financial implications. The rule is being seen as a punishment,’ a spokesman told the Volkskrant.
Pensioners association ANBO says it has also received reports from pensioners who are worried their pensions will be cut.
And the local authorities association VNG has already warned the plan conflicts with the government’s strategy of getting friends and families to take a more active role in the care of the elderly.
While junior social affairs minister Jetta Klijnsma admits the measure is a spending cut, she says it is justified because house sharers have lower costs.
But families say they face higher bills because their homes often need adapting and they spend a large amount of time on unpaid care duties.
Family lawyers (notaries) also say the government and local councils has not thought through the position of frail elderly people living with their children properly.