Number of social security benefits stable in the Netherlands
By the end of this year, 319 thousand social security benefits were issued, i.e. an increase by more than 1 thousand compared to the previous quarter. According to the most recent figures released by Statistics Netherllands, the number of social security benefits remained more or less stable relative to June 2011.
Although the number of benefits remained fairly stable, the distribution over the various age categories is different. In the space of one year, the number of benefits paid to people younger than 27 was reduced by just under 8 thousand to 30 thousand by the end of June 2012. Policy changes, like the introduction of a job search period of four weeks and abolition of the Act on Investing in Young People (WIJ) played a part in this respect.
The situation is entirely different for people in the age category 27 or older; the number of benefits granted to people older than 27 grew by 8 thousand in the space of one year to 289 thousand. The increase is in line with the number of unemployment (WW) benefits.
Since the end of June 2011, there are obvious differences between the Dutch municipalities. In the category of municipalities with more than 100 thousand residents, the most substantial reduction was found in Haarlem, Haarlemmermeer and Dordrecht. At the end of June 2012, the number of social security benefits was reduced by 6 percent relative to one year previously, but in the municipalities of Zaanstad and Arnhem, the number of benefits increased by 11 and 5 percent respectively. On average, the number of social security benefits granted in the larger municipalities fell by 1 percent.
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