VVD objects to curb on teen earnings

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Opposition party VVD wants government to scrap regulation that penalises families whose children earn more from holiday jobs.

The Hague – Dutch conservative opposition party VVD wants the government to put an end to the practice of reducing child allowance should a teenager earn above a certain amount of money from vacation jobs.

Currently, teenagers of 16 and 17 who live at home are only permitted to earn around EUR 2,400 in the holiday quarter. Normally the limit is EUR 1,200 per quarter but this is increased during the holidays. Should a teenager’s earnings exceed that amount, their parents risk having their child benefits from the government reduced by EUR 300.

The child benefit system is not income dependent and, according to VVD member of parliament Stef Blok, cutting child allowance therefore discourages teenagers from low income families from helping out by getting a holiday job.

During the summer months, three quarters of young Dutch people have holiday jobs.

Families in the Netherlands receive EUR 278.55 for a single 14–17 year old in the family and over EUR 300 if there are two or more such teens in the family. This income is forfeited if the teenager earns more than the permitted amount.

The party is demanding that Minister of Social Affairs and Employment Jan Pieter Hendrik Donner scrap the regulation.

According to De Telegraaf, this would cost the treasury EUR 11 million per year which could be recuperated by putting an end to the export of child benefits outside the EU.

Presently, about EUR 40 million in child benefits are transferred to countries other than the Netherlands and around half of this total is for children living outside the EU.

Meanwhile, the ministry issued a statement saying teenagers rarely reach this income level and that the VVD is seeing problems where there are none. On average, teenagers aged 14-17 earn between EUR 125 per week.

Anna Ritchie / Expatica / Radio Netherlands

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