In 2007 over 1.1 million people received the general levy discount, as against 1.3 million at the moment of introduction in 2001. In nine out of ten cases, the recipients of this subsidy mockingly termed ‘kitchen sink subsidy’ are women.
Fewer people receive the full amount
The decline is entirely caused by the fact that fewer people receive the full general levy discount. Their number dropped from nearly 840 thousand in 2001 to under 600 thousand in 2007. The number of persons to receive a partial subsidy marginally increased over this period.
Recipients of the general levy discount
Most frequent recipients are women around the age of 60
More than half of recipients of the kitchen sink subsidy are over-50s, predominantly women around the age of 60. In the category 55 to 60-year-old women, 32 percent received a full or partial subsidy. With 42 percent, the proportion was even higher for 60 to 65-year-old women.
Younger women less often qualify for (full) payment, as they often have paid jobs. The decline is also caused by the higher labour participation rate among this new generation.
Proportion of female recipients of the general levy discount by age, 2007
Gradual reduction involves 80 thousand people
As from 2009, the general levy discount will be dismantled over a period of fifteen years. This does not apply to people born prior to 1972 and parents with children under the age of six living at home.
In 2007, more than 93 percent of recipients were included in one of the two exception categories, which means that nearly 80 thousand persons will receive a smaller amount under the new scheme effective since 2009.