According to figures from Statistics Netherlands, the number of people younger than 65 years claiming income support fell to 297 thousand in the first quarter of 2007. This is the first time since 1981 that the number of income support benefits has been below 300 thousand. The number of people receiving income support for longer than one year has fallen in the space of twelve months.
Sharp drop in income support benefits
The number of people claiming income support was more than 9 percent smaller than on 31 March 2006. This is the equivalent of 30 thousand benefits fewer. The number of couples claiming the benefit fell by relatively more than the number of single people claiming income support, 11.1 percent and 8.7 percent respectively.
Long-term benefits also down
The number of people claiming income support for longer than one year was 16 thousand lower at the end of the first quarter of 2007. The continuing favourable labour market situation contributed to this decrease.
The number of people who receiving the benefit for less than one year fell by 13 thousand in the same period.
Fewer 15-25 year-olds claiming income support
Compared with 1 January 2005, the number of people aged 15 to 25 years claiming income support has fallen by 42 percent. Fewer than 10 benefits per 1,000 people are paid in this age group.
At 3 percent, the decrease in the number of benefits paid to people over 35 years is considerably smaller than the decrease for the youngest age group. Overall, at the end of the first quarter 2007 27 income support benefits were being paid per 1,000 people.