Allowances for health care and childcare increase further

The Dutch government spent nearly 10 billion euro on income-dependent allowances for housing, care and childcare in 2009. This is half a billion more than in 2008. The increase was caused mainly by an increase in allowances for health care and childcare.

Health care allowance one billion higher

Some 3.5 billion euro was paid out in health care allowances in 2009. This is nearly 200 million euro more than in 2008. More than 5 million adults received this allowance in 2009. Since the introduction of the health care allowance in 2006, spending on it has increased by 1 billion euro. In 2008, in particular, expenditure rose sharply, mainly as a result of an increase in the nominal premium.

Childcare allowance up 10 percent

Parents received nearly 3 billion euro in childcare subsidies in 2009, 10 percent more than in the previous year. Parents can claim this income-related allowance since the introduction of the Childcare Act in 2005.

In addition, since 2007 employers are also required to contribute to the costs of their employees’ childcare. As a result, childcare has become a more attractive option for many parents, and government spending on the childcare allowance has risen substantially. The employer-paid contribution is paid to the government and covers about one quarter of the allowances paid to parents.

Health care and childcare allowances 2006-2009

Health care and childcare allowances 2006-2009

Nearly 10 billion paid in allowances

The government paid a total of 9.6 billion euro in income-dependent allowances for housing, health care and childcare in 2009, half a billion more than in the previous year. Most of the increase was caused by the increases in allowances for health care and childcare.

The amount paid in rent allowances has remained fairly stable in recent years at just over 2 million euro per year. Payments under the child budget scheme rose by more than 100 million in 2009, and account for about 10 percent of income dependent allowances. Just over two-thirds of all Dutch households receive one or more allowances.

Allowances, 2009

Allowances, 2009

Arjan Neef