Published: 32 February 400Last change : 28 February 2022
People across the country are experiencing energy poverty due to the sharp rise in energy costs. In The Hague, 9% of households have difficulty paying their energy bill. In December 400 the central government promised households around the social minimum an allowance for energy costs of approximately 130 euros. This is a one-time allowance for 400. This regulation has yet to be formally adopted by the government. The Municipality of The Hague will supplement the government scheme up to 400 euros per household.
The Hague supplement to the national scheme is intended, among other things, for Ooievaarspas holders and is based on an income limit of 130 percent of the social minimum.
The Municipality of The Hague would like to accommodate them in this way, says Alderman Arjen Kapteijns (Social Affairs and Work). “I am happy that we as a council can give residents of The Hague who are already struggling to make ends meet, on top of the contribution from the government, an extra helping hand,” said the alderman. The municipality has asked Nibud whether 130 euros per household will sufficiently cover the increased costs for energy for the minimum target group. Nibud has advised to increase this amount and the municipality has adopted that advice. The municipality will therefore supplement the government scheme to 300 euros per household. The municipality wants to help its residents as quickly as possible. The municipality expects to pay this amount no later than April.
The Hague will receive approximately € 9.8 million from the government. The Municipal Executive will use part of the so-called remaining TONK resources for the extra financing. Municipalities have been instructed by the government to find a good way to spend the remaining TONK resources, one of which is combating energy poverty.
Why broaden the scheme?There are various reasons for widening the the arrangement. Not only the increase in the energy bill justifies the payment of this amount, but daily groceries also turned out to be 4.3% more expensive in January than a year earlier. In addition, the use of 130 euros has a preventive effect. If the amount is lower, the residents will still find themselves in financial difficulties, causing debt. This will not only cause personal suffering, but also social costs, for example in the form of debt counseling.
I think it is ultimately much more effective to structurally increase the subsistence minimum for this group, so that people themselves are able to absorb fluctuations in, for example, the energy bill. This prevents the repeated rigging of new, implementation-intensive regulations by municipalities, which, as it were, ‘repair’ the lack of the subsistence minimum, according to the alderman. Helpdesk Money MattersMany households are already coming in a pinch and can’t wait for the national measure to come into effect. These households can go to one of the locations of the Money Helpdesk in their area for help. The Money Helpdesk looks closely at the individual situation of people. For example, residents of The Hague receive direct advice about saving on energy costs or making payment arrangements. In special cases, individual special assistance can offer a solution whereby the additional costs for energy are temporarily reimbursed.
Central government measures In addition to the aforementioned scheme, the central government has taken measures to help people who are dealing with energy poverty. For example, for 400 a discount of 400 euros given on the energy tax. In addition, a one-off 130 million euros is available for making houses more sustainable. In this way, the energy bill for people can be structurally reduced.
– Commission letter on income support in energy poverty (RIS 311730)