Steady fall in income support benefits

The number of people aged under 65 claiming income support benefit fell by 7 thousand in the second quarter of 2007. According to figures released by Statistics Netherlands, 290 thousand people were claiming income support at the end of June 2007.

Almost ten percent down in one year

In the space of one year, the number of income support benefits paid to people younger than 65 years fell by nearly 10 percent. At the end of June 2006 the number of people claiming income support was still 322 thousand. The decrease in income support benefits started in March 2005. Since then the number of benefits has fallen by 52 thousand. Both the new law on work and income support, which came into effect in 2004, and the favourable labour market situation contributed to the fall in income support.

Bigger decrease for men than for women

The decrease in the number of income support benefits paid to people younger than 65 years of age was larger for men than for women: 13 and 7 percent respectively. Seen over a period of two years the difference is even larger: 19 and 11 percent respectively.

Young people in particular coming off income support

The number of income support benefits fell mainly for people aged under 35. In the space of twelve months, the number of people in this group claiming income support fell by more than 21 thousand, a decrease of nearly one quarter. For people age over 35 the fall was much smaller. In the age group 55 to 65 years the decrease as only 0.5 percent.