Minister targets Dutch benefits claimants

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Deputy Social Affairs Minister Paul de Krom says about half the people claiming supplementary benefit could be working. He is planning to toughen up the welfare benefit rules next year.

In an interview with the ANP news agency, he says, “150,000 to 200,000 of the around 355,000 people on benefits could work – either full-time or part-time”.

Mr De Krom also intends to reduce drastically the number of mentally or physically disabled young people who are employed in sheltered work placements Wajong. The disabled will be expected to do their best to find ordinary jobs. This measure has been greeted by fierce opposition.

The minister argues that people at present are too easily written off as unable to work. He says this undermines society where a decreasing number of working people are expected to support those on benefits. He points out that the situation is being made ever more difficult by the increasing number of elderly people on pensions.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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