With the current cabinet policy, poverty in the Netherlands will increase by more than a quarter in the coming years, from 5.3 to 6.8 percent of the population, according to a study on poverty by the Social and Cultural Planning Office (SCP) and Central on Thursday. Planning Bureau (CPB).

The current government policy has led to a decrease in the number of people in poverty in recent years, but from 2021, unchanged policy will actually increase. This is mainly due to the annual reduction in social assistance benefits, which means that an increasing proportion of people entitled to social assistance benefits fall below the poverty line, according to the planning agencies.

The annual decrease in social assistance benefits was introduced by the government in 2011, to make it more attractive for people to work.

The annual decrease in assistance is currently fixed until 2035. If the annual decrease in assistance is reversed from next year, the future risk of poverty for benefit recipients will decrease by almost half.

Corona crisis not included in research

The study has not yet included the economic effects of the corona crisis, as it is not yet possible to estimate its long-term consequences.

In total, the planning agencies have analyzed forty policy options to combat rising poverty. Other options to combat poverty after 2021 include increasing the low-income employed person's tax credit or investing consistently in the long term in training, health and employability.

The poverty survey was prepared by planning agencies in the run-up to the March 2021 elections to assist political parties in drawing up their election programs.