The cabinet wants all Dutch households to have a lower energy bill from November. Therefore, from next month each household will receive a compensation of 190 euros for their energy bill. This compensation is settled via the energy suppliers.
Advantage for rich
For a large group of people who are in financial trouble, this is a welcome surprise. But the money also ends up with people who don’t need it, such as Dirk-Jan (41). His first reaction when he heard the news yesterday was: “Is it necessary?” He sees the money first and foremost as a ‘great advantage for the richer people, while it doesn’t have to end there’. “I just think it’s a shame for the people who need it more,” he says. “Now a uniform approach is chosen for everyone.”
Cost ceiling: DKK 23.5 billion
The cabinet makes a total of 23.5 billion euros available for the price ceiling. According to political reporter Marieke de Zilver, the cabinet has raised the price ceiling considerably compared to previous plans.
“The hope is that people who no longer use gas, for example because they have become more sustainable, will also be helped. But the wider tariffs also mean that even more money ends up with people who don’t actually need it. This applies, among other things, to the 190 euros that households get at a discount in November and December: it also ends up with people who pay less.”
“But because it was decided so late to introduce a price cap, a scheme that was better geared to only households that really needed it was simply no longer possible. It is about billions of euros, so the government takes it into the purchase.”
“I understand that the government chooses this approach. It is fast and practical,” says Dirk-Jan. “But for me it comes to a big pile. Together with my wife we have a good income. It is very nice to receive 380 euros, but I would rather another group get this.”
‘Don’t need it’
The one who thinks the same way is Jacqueline (63). “I heard that everyone got such compensation, but thought: I don’t need it at all. I only pay 60 euros a month through my solar panels, and I also have a fixed contract until April 2024. I can buy anything I need. can eat and keep my house warm. Should I sit and take money from the public when others really need it?”
“I don’t have a very high income,” she continues. “I average about 2,200 euros a month, but it’s enough to live on.” In addition, she knows what it is like to live in poverty; another reason to give the money away. “I myself was financially stuck for a long time because of a car accident. I lost my job and could no longer pay my house. During that time I learned that there is a lot of hidden poverty. It made me more sensitive to, what people are going through right now.”
Dirk-Jan has decided to donate the money he receives to a fund for energy and poverty. “I want to show solidarity with the people around me. I think it’s important to give the money away when you don’t need it, because for many people there is a really difficult time ahead.” He does not yet know which fund it will be. He is thinking of the Food Bank or the Poor People’s Fund. “Or I’ll give it to a good friend or acquaintance. If they want it too, of course.”
To take care of each other
Jacqueline’s 380 euros goes to the Food Bank. “I have the choice between putting the money on my savings or giving it to an organization for people who are stuck. I see the Food Bank as an organization that can immediately help people in poverty, and I think that is important. Because you the first things you need is food.”
Dirk-Jan and Jacqueline are not the only ones who think so. On social media, several people wonder which funds they can best donate the 190 euros to:
Jan-Dirk and Jacqueline do not want to say whether everyone who does not need the money should donate it immediately. “Everyone has to decide for themselves what to do with the money. I only worry about what I decide for myself,” says Jacqueline. “I’m not about other people’s concerns, but I hope that we as a society feel a responsibility to look after each other,” says Jan-Dirk.
The Fattigfonden thinks it is ‘very nice’ if people want to share the money they get for their energy bills with them. “We are committed to people living in poverty, so we are happy about that.”
In addition to the compensation of 190 euros per month for the months of November and December, a price ceiling on energy will also apply to all households from 1 January. For gas, the maximum rate is 1.45 euros per cubic meter up to a consumption of 1200 cubic metres. For electricity, the maximum tariff is reduced to EUR 0.40 per kWh, and the maximum consumption increases to 2900 kWh.
In this video, reporter Laura clearly explains how it works: