Karla Drenner

Nobody can be offside in society

Poverty is far-reaching. It is a significant cause of disadvantage and social exclusion. For people with little money, everyday things such as a day out or doing enough shopping are not self-evident. Children of parents with a low income often cannot participate with their peers on the sports field or school trips and are therefore literally offside.

One of the essential ways to do something about this is to offer everyone equal opportunities. We do this by providing people with less income a reliable safety net because everyone has the right to a decent life and fair opportunities.

And especially now that things are going better economically, we should all benefit from our prosperity. And that’s what we’re working on: we have made an extra 100 million euros available for children who grow up in poverty. This makes it possible for the 400,000 children who grow up in poverty to join school trips, buy a winter coat and take music lessons. Something that is a matter of course for many other children that should also be for them. Because every child that grows up in poverty is one too many.

Fighting poverty

In our election program, we pay a lot of attention to the fight against poverty. We want every municipality to implement poverty policy; they get more money for poverty reduction. Specific attention should be paid to children who grow up in poverty. The 100 million that we have allocated extra each year should come to every child that needs it. For this, we enter into cooperation with municipalities, schools, consultation centers and social parties such as Stichting Leergeld, the Youth Sports and Culture Fund, Stichting Jarige Job and many other local initiatives. So that every child can join in later. We also do not accept that schools exclude children via all sorts of extra amounts for travel, computers, etc.

 

Also, we pay much attention to poverty among the elderly. We link benefits and AOW to the average wage increase. Everyone must benefit from economic recovery. Older people with an incomplete state pension (AOW) currently receive a supplement to the social minimum for people aged over 65 via social assistance. Because this supplement falls under the cost-relief standard, older people are living with their children, for example, are cut back on that supplement. That is not fair. We, therefore, want to introduce a concession for this specific group and, also, make it possible to assist with harrowing cases through individual customization.

 

Help with large debts

Finally, we believe that people should be helped if they face massive deficits. We want to further expand the social debt collection from the government by making tailor-made solutions possible for selection by the government. We advocate one collection agency for all government services. This provides an overview, and it works better to help solve doubtful debts. We maintain the seizure-free foot. We introduce a bailiff register. We retain the 6-month breather to give people who are in danger of going bankrupt the opportunity to agree. Private collection agencies that charge usury rates are tackled.