As expected, the city council approved a comprehensive crisis package onWednesday afternoon to absorb the consequences of rising prices. However,there are concerns.
During the debate, almost all political groups complimented the municipalcouncil and the civil service for putting together this package in a shortperiod of time. But there are also concerns among many groups. For example,regarding students and residential groups and other forms of living that areactually excluded from this package.
Alderman Mirjam Wijnja (GroenLinks): “We do this for society” Alderman Mirjam Wijnja (GroenLinks) of Finance: “The package we are nowpresenting is based on what we know now. As you know, geopolitics is all overthe place, and every day something changes in that situation. The startingpoint 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 theCollege, but we do this for society. It is not possible to put together such apackage 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 alsoseveral speakers who were given the floor. For example, a spokesperson for theold RKZ in Helpman: “In 1979 the building was squatted and later it waslegalized as a residential group. We are not the owner, that is Nijestee. Weare not entitled to housing benefit, because bathrooms, for example, arecollective property.” Jeroen Hoekstra of the Biotoop: “180 people live in ourbuilding and many companies are located there. The property is equipped withan old heating system which causes the costs to explode. There is a threat ofidleness, residents are accepting payment arrears because they are not coveredby the existing arrangements.” Lenze Hofstee of Carex: “We house one percentof the population living in the city. These are large buildings that arepoorly insulated and have outdated installations. They are high in energyconsumption. Last year we already had to raise the rates, which was alreadyvery hard for people. What people now have to choose will mean that peoplewill 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: “Theneeds 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 meetthe income requirements. But the fact is that we cannot help everyone. I tellyou we’re going to look into it, but I can’t promise. The inequality is toogreat for that.”
Jalt de Haan (CDA): “There are children in my class who don ‘t have theheating on at home” The geopolitical situation that has turned people’s lives upside down. Partychairman Jalt de Haan of the CDA summed it up: “In Europe we are dealing withthe largest war after the Second World War, with all its consequences. Beforethis situation arose, we already lived in a municipality with a lot ofpoverty. 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 thereis no money for energy. So we ended up in that extreme situation. There is nowa nice package on the table. But it still hurts. Students do not receive anymoney 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 areentitled to compensation. This does not apply to other residents. Thatdistinction, measuring with two standards. Segregation arises. Student & Citywas founded to bring two groups together, to reduce the distance betweenstudents 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 ExecutiveBoard: “We encourage students to borrow and that is strange. However, we mustinclude the maximum loan before we can pay out the special assistance.” Still,the students are not left completely empty-handed, because the city councilagreed to an extra legal check. This will investigate whether the maximumstudent grant is really necessary to receive support.
Jimmy Dijk (SP): “Class struggle” The fact that Groningen presents the crisis package and picks up the gauntletis reason for the SP to point to the class struggle. Jimmy Dijk: “Wherefamilies are in poverty, multinationals in the Netherlands receive billions inprofits. The cabinet must intervene in this regard”, with which Dijkspecifically 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 ofpeople who receive an allowance from 140 to 130 percent. Alderman Eikenaarresponds to this by saying that the group that is around 140% of the socialminimum is also having a hard time. Gietema has announced that it will work onan amendment to make this possible. D66 is also concerned whether all measurescan be implemented.