The number of children growing up in poverty should be halved over the next few years and eventually reduced to zero. That is in an own-initiative law presented by the PvdA and the Christian Union today. At the moment, another in ten children are growing up in a family with an income below the low-income threshold that the Central Statistical Office (CBS) applies. Thats about 250,000.
The low income threshold is re-established each year and adjusted to the price level. In 2019, for a single-parent family with two underage children, it was 1660 euros net per month. For a couple with two children, that was 2080 euros.
PvdA and ChristianUnion want the law to say that child poverty should be halved by 2030. How that should be done is up to the cabinet. That needs to develop plans, free up money and report annually how it works. The parties want more talk about this “silent disaster” in this way.
“Everyone wants this,” says Christenunion MP Don Ceder. “We say, lets record it in a law. Every year, the government has to report and we can adjust if necessary.”
Go to court
If the target is set by a date in the law, citizens would be able to go to court if childrens poverty is not halved in nine years, Pvdaer Gijs van Dijk acknowledges. “But it would be really bizarre if you dont succeed in achieving the goal, of course, you want to avoid lawsuits to the limit.”
MPs are inspired by New Zealand, where the same law has been passed before. Cedar: “Also in our country there are still children who have to go to bed without dinner, do not have hot water at home or do not have good school supplies. Every child should be able to grow up without poverty.” According to Van Dijk, the number of children in poverty is rising again lately, partly due to the corona crisis. “That has to be different.”