Council approves broad crisis package, concerns about students and residential groups

As expected, the city council approved a comprehensive crisis package on Wednesday afternoon to absorb the consequences of rising prices. However, there are concerns.

During the debate, almost all political groups complimented the municipal council and the civil service for putting together this package in a short period of time. But there are also concerns among many groups. For example, regarding students and residential groups and other forms of living that are actually excluded from this package.

Alderman Mirjam Wijnja (GroenLinks): “We do this for society”
Alderman Mirjam Wijnja (GroenLinks) of Finance: “The package we are now presenting is based on what we know now. As you know, geopolitics is all over the place, and every day something changes in that situation. The starting point for this package is that we want to do something as quickly as possible. Propping up problems in society is not the primary responsibility of the College, but we do this for society. It is not possible to put together such a package every year. The financial situation of the municipality is uncertain.”

Lenze Hofstee: “People will already be on the street this autumn”
Various groups emphasized that the problems in society are great. But also several speakers who were given the floor. For example, a spokesperson for the old RKZ in Helpman: “In 1979 the building was squatted and later it was legalized as a residential group. We are not the owner, that is Nijestee. We are not entitled to housing benefit, because bathrooms, for example, are collective property.” Jeroen Hoekstra of the Biotoop: “180 people live in our building and many companies are located there. The property is equipped with an old heating system which causes the costs to explode. There is a threat of idleness, residents are accepting payment arrears because they are not covered by the existing arrangements.” Lenze Hofstee of Carex: “We house one percent of the population living in the city. These are large buildings that are poorly insulated and have outdated installations. They are high in energy consumption. Last year we already had to raise the rates, which was already very hard for people. What people now have to choose will mean that people will already be on the streets this autumn.”

Alderman Eelco Eikenaar (SP): “We cannot help everyone”
Alderman Eelco Eikenaar (SP) of Poverty is clear and clear in his speech: “The needs outlined by the respondents are very clear. You’re in big trouble. People in the Biotoop, in the old RKZ, can apply for the scheme if they meet the income requirements. But the fact is that we cannot help everyone. I tell you we’re going to look into it, but I can’t promise. The inequality is too great for that.”

Jalt de Haan (CDA): “There are children in my class who don’t have the heating on at home”
The geopolitical situation that has turned people’s lives upside down. Party chairman Jalt de Haan of the CDA summed it up: “In Europe we are dealing with the largest war after the Second World War, with all its consequences. Before this situation arose, we already lived in a municipality with a lot of poverty. In my own school class (De Haan is a primary school teacher, red.) I hear stories from children that the heating at home is not on because there is no money for energy. So we ended up in that extreme situation. There is now a nice package on the table. But it still hurts. Students do not receive any money for an energy allowance. How do you explain this?”

Steven Bosch (Student & City): “Measuring this with two standards”
Steven Bosch of Student & City: “With the regulations that are now in place, it means that as a student you have to get deeply into debt before you are entitled to compensation. This does not apply to other residents. That distinction, measuring with two standards. Segregation arises. Student & City was founded to bring two groups together, to reduce the distance between students and Stadjers. But this package actually widens the gap. This is student washing.”

Extra legal control
Alderman Eikenaar acknowledges that it is also a problem for the Executive Board: “We encourage students to borrow and that is strange. However, we must include the maximum loan before we can pay out the special assistance.” Still, the students are not left completely empty-handed, because the city council agreed to an extra legal check. This will investigate whether the maximum student grant is really necessary to receive support.

Jimmy Dijk (SP): “Class struggle”
The fact that Groningen presents the crisis package and picks up the gauntlet is reason for the SP to point to the class struggle. Jimmy Dijk: “Where families are in poverty, multinationals in the Netherlands receive billions in profits. The cabinet must intervene in this regard”, with which Dijk specifically points to Mark Rutte and Sigrid Kaag.

Mirjam Gietema (D66): “Reducing from 140 to 130 percent”
Mirjam Gietema of D66 proposes in her spokesperson to reduce the bandwidth of people who receive an allowance from 140 to 130 percent. Alderman Eikenaar responds to this by saying that the group that is around 140% of the social minimum is also having a hard time. Gietema has announced that it will work on an amendment to make this possible. D66 is also concerned whether all measures can be implemented.

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