60-plussers in de bijstand anders aanpakken is echt doodzonde

Sandra Phlippen is head of the Netherlands at the economic bureau of ABN Amro and assistant professor at the Erasmus School of Economics.

I do not want to say that people over the age of 60 have it easy in their assistance. That’s nothing. But to tackle them radically differently, as the PvdA in Rotterdam announced yesterday  , that is really deadly sin. Despite all the sad stories about the thousandth unanswered application letter, the chances of coming to work from assistance are seldom as good as now.

The latest CBS figures show the facts: every 3,000 Dutch elderly people pay their contributions to paid work every quarter. Twice as many as ten years ago. In the workplace, people have to accept the arrival of the elderly.

Older employees have skills such as service and reliability, which young people often miss. We are living more and more in a service economy in which it is nice for elderly people to be served by other elderly people.

But above all: the elderly themselves should not want them to be excluded from the ‘counter-performance approach’, because it is just a sweet policy with a lot of attention for the quality of life.

‘In return in Rotterdam’, I can hear you thinking. “That was that hard approach with that compulsory paper pricks?” No, that is not true, although the former right-wing Liveable Alderman found it best that this image was rarely corrected.

In reality, the welfare capital of the Netherlands has a very friendly policy  for its nearly 20,000 long-term social assistance claimants. Since 2013, a team of district neighborhood officials is going to ask people how they are doing and whether they are prepared to return ‘something’ for their benefit.

That ‘something’ can be: promise that you go to the gym, volunteer, accept psychological help or something else sensible. Those who say ‘no’ to everything can indeed count on a discount on their benefit. You may call that ‘cat-like’, right?

And the effect may be there, as  witnessed by the first, albeit still provisional, conclusions of the researchers Dur and Gielen into the psychological well-being of Rotterdammers who participate in the counterpart policy. The researchers see something remarkable: in neighborhoods where the counterpart officials have visited, they see the use of antidepressants bending.

When the people were ‘left alone’ years ago, the use of these medicines rose to almost half (!) Of all social assistance recipients there. When the civil servants are stopped, the use of antidepressants slowly decreases. Who is aware that the elderly in social assistance often suffer from loneliness and dejection, can not imagine that it is a good plan to lay them down again?

Read through under the photo.

Richard Moti, welfare alderman in Rotterdam.

Richard Moti, welfare alderman in Rotterdam.  © ANP

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *