Following an upturn in 2004, purchasing power of the Dutch population on average declined 0.3 percent in 2005. Preliminary figures over 2005 indicate that the financial situation of pensioners and income support recipients in particular deteriorated. The percentage of people with an income below the low-income limit has remained fairly stable since 2003.
Greatest purchasing power among self-employed
The average purchasing power of the Dutch population was nearly 21 thousand euro in 2005. The purchasing power of household members of self-employed exceeded the nationwide average by over 20 percent, employees by a scant 4 percent.
The purchasing power on unemployed was significantly lower. People on income support had only half the average purchasing power.
Purchasing power of socio-economic groups, 2005*
Purchasing power of employed and unemployed
In 2005, the purchasing power of the entire Dutch population diminished on average 0.3 percent. Relative to 2004, there was a large gap between those who work and those who do not have a job. The purchasing power of household members of self-employed improved 1 percent; employees improved 0.2 percent.
Unemployed people faced a deterioration of their purchasing power. Pensioners and income support recipients lost about 1 percent.
Purchasing power by socio-economic group, 2004-2005*
Share low-income groups fairly stable
In 2005, the proportion in the population living below the low-income limit was 8.9 percent. The definitive figures for 2003 and 2004 were 8.8 and 8.6 percent respectively. The figure over 2004 was adjusted downward compared to the preliminary figure. The adjustment was mainly based upon new data about self-employed.
Persons on low incomes by socio-economic group, 2004-2005*
Increase among benefit recipients
In 2005, one in five benefit recipients were in the low-income brackets. The proportion of low-income pensioners increased from 5 percent in 2004 to 6 percent in 2005. The proportion of income support recipients in the low-income brackets rose from 78 to 79 percent.
The proportion of employed people below the low-income limit rose only marginally, but the decline among self-employed, which began in 2004, continued.
Ferdy Otten and Wim Bos