Biggest fall in income support for years

The number of people aged under 65 years claiming income support fell by nearly 11 thousand in the third quarter of 2006. This is the largest quarterly decrease since 1999. According to figures from Statistics Netherlands 311 thousand people were receiving an income support benefit at the end of September 2006.

Faster decrease in last six months

The number of people claiming income support benefit fell by 21 thousand in the space of one year. About three-quarters of this decease took place in the second and third quarters of this year. The number of benefits fell faster for men than for women. For men it fell by 12 thousand, for women by 9 thousand. In addition, the number of people aged under 35 claiming income support also fell. The decrease in this group was 15 thousand, accounting for just over 70 percent of the total decrease.

Income support claimants gradually ageing

The group of people claiming income support is gradually ageing. In September 2006, 45 percent of income support benefits were paid to persons aged 45 to 65 years. In January 1998 this was only 33 percent.

More long-term benefits

People are receiving an income support benefit for longer periods. More than 80 percent of benefits have been paid for longer than on year. On 1 January 1998, only 75 percent of benefits had lasted for more than a year.