Population thinks government should take care of vulnerable groups

12/04/2013 15:00

The Dutch population thinks the government should play a more active role in various areas of society. Especially when it comes to taking care of people who are not at all or to a lesser degree able to take care of themselves, e.g. disabled and older people. Preventing people from leading unhealthy lives is less often considered to be a government responsibility.

More than half think caring for disabled and older people is a government responsibility

Early 2012, a 57 percent majority in the population aged 18 years and older thought it is the responsibility of the government to make sure that disabled have enough money to live on. Approximately 40 percent believe this is partly the responsibility of the government and only 3 percent think this is beyond the government’s responsibility.

Almost the entire population also believes that caring for older people is (partly) a government responsibility. Just over half think that it is entirely the responsibility of the government. Making sure that the unemployed have enough money to live on is entirely (35 percent) or partly (54 percent) a government duty.

People’s opinions on government responsibilities regarding care provision, 2012

People’s opinions on government responsibilities regarding care provision, 2012

Encouraging people to participate on the labour market is also a government responsibility

A majority in the population think that the government should play an active role on the labour market. More than 80 percent, for example, think the government should help people to find jobs and provide enough child care facilities. Approximately 87 percent think the government should enable employees to take care leave, but labour-related duties are less often regarded as a responsibility of the government than care provision. The proportion of people who think this is a full responsibility of the government is also smaller.

People’s opinions on government responsibilities regarding employment, 2012

People’s opinions on government responsibilities regarding employment, 2012

Four in ten think fighting overweight is not a government responsibility

The proportion in the population who think it is a government duty to prevent people from leading unhealthy lives is even smaller. This applies in particular to discouraging smoking and fighting overweight; 31 and 41 percent respectively think these are not government responsibilities.

People’s opinions on government responsibilities regarding lifestyle, 2012

People’s opinions on government responsibilities regarding lifestyle, 2012

Rianne Kloosterman