In the third quarter of 2007, the number of under-65s receiving income support continued to fall. According to the latest figures by Statistics Netherlands, 281 thousand social security benefits were granted at the end of September, 9 thousand fewer than in the second quarter.
Number of social security benefits more than 30 thousand down in one year
At the end of September 2007, the number of social security benefits was more than 30 thousand down on the end of September 2006, a decrease by nearly 10 percent. Since March 2005, the number of benefits has fallen dramatically. The decrease is largely due to the introduction of the Act on Work and Income Support in 2004 and the favourable situation on the labour market.
Fewer benefit recipients due to thriving economy
Native Dutch as well as people with a foreign background profited from the improved economic climate and the actions taken to stimulate people to become independent of social security. Between September 2005 and September 2007, the number of native Dutch social security recipients was reduced by 17 percent and the number of people with a western or non-western foreign background on social security was reduced by over 14 percent. Native Dutch accounted for half, people with a non-western foreign background for nearly 40 percent of benefits granted.
Population on social security ageing
The reduction among young social security recipients was more substantial than among older people. As a result, the social security-dependent population is gradually ageing. In September 2005, the proportion of 55 to 65-year-old recipients totalled 20 percent, in September 2007, the rate had risen to 23 percent.
The number of short-term benefits is dropping most significantly. In the period September 2006-September 2007, short-term benefits decreased by 19 percent. The number of benefits beyond one year was reduced by 8 percent over the same period.
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