Over 1m households losing out financially - CPB
4 April 2006, AMSTERDAM — Calculations by macroeconomic think-tank CPB suggest at least 1.1 million households are losing out financially this year.
4 April 2006
AMSTERDAM — Calculations by macroeconomic think-tank CPB suggest at least 1.1 million households are losing out financially this year.
The CPB's purchasing power report published on Tuesday is a response to claims by trade unions that large segments of the Dutch population will have less money to spend as a result of the government's policies.
Trade union group 'De Unie' compiled its own figures earlier this year suggesting 20 percent of Dutch households are seeing a drop in purchasing power this year.
The issue was one of the main topics of discussion during the recent spring talks between the employers, unions and government. The parties decided to ask the CPB for an independent report.
The centre-right coalition government estimated its financial policies will lead to an average rise in purchasing power of 1 percent. But it emphasised there were no guarantees everyone would benefit.
The CPB said the new health insurance system, in particular, is hitting many groups in the wallet. Several income groups are affected, but the main losers will be among single people without children and working couples without children. But insiders say the financial loss will be smaller than that predicted by the unions.
Trade union confederation FNV, using research by market research firm NIPO, has already said half of all Dutch households will have less to spend this year. The government should provide EUR 500 million in compensation, the union argued during the spring talks.
A working group, made up of the CPB, civil servants and union officials, is studying the conflicting reports and will issue its conclusions in mid April. Parliament will debate the findings at the end of the month.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news