One in 10 claim welfare benefits for more than 15 years
One in 10 people who claim welfare (bijstand) depend on the benefit for longer than 15 years, according to figures from the national statistics office CBS.
In particular, the over-45s and people with low levels of education are likely to rely on welfare for a long period of time, an analysis of the figures in the Volkskrant shows.
It is an illusion to think this difficult group can be helped into a traditional job, Tilburg University labour market professor Ton Wilthagen told the paper. Efforts to create jobs for people who are long-term claimants usually fall apart when they have to move into the regular workforce, he said.
Some 65% of long term benefit claimants have no school leaving certificate and are in no state to earn the minimum wage without help. Between 80% and 75% have some sort of physical or psychiatric issue making it difficult for them to hold down a job.
The solution is not schooling or education, René Paas, chairman of the local authority social service umbrella group Divosa. ‘Education is not a wonder drug. Intelligence is not shared out equally.’
Local authorities are now responsible for the welfare benefit system and ensuring people are helped into jobs.