The cabinet is working on plans to make the welfare rules less strict. For example, people in assistance should be able to receive gifts or gifts or earn some extra money, without being cut immediately.
At the start of the cabinet, government parties agreed to relax the hard rules. Minister Schouten for Poverty Reduction has now sent the House a letter about the progress of the plans. The bottom line is that she wants to “take off the sharp edges of the so-called Participation Act”. According to Schouten, this is “out of balance”. She wants more “eye” for the “person behind the benefit”.
Schouten writes that help from friends or family too quickly means that beneficiaries are cut short. She also states that temporarily taking someone into the home should not immediately have consequences for the benefit. Then there must be a crisis situation.
In the Knel
It is not illogical that various parts of the Participation Act are sometimes strictly explained, according to research by Social Affairs. But too much severity on multiple points with one and the same beneficiary of assistance can be too hard and “puts people in a jam”.
More than 400,000 people receive assistance. In the coming period, Schouten wants to work out how the rules can be relaxed and more “human dimension” will be introduced. She talks with municipalities about the gifts that people with social assistance benefits can receive.
Schoutens plans fit with the agreements of the government parties to look better at how laws and rules work out for people in practice. The renovation of the law is complicated and will not just be arranged, warns Schouten.