Inspectorate concerned about people avoiding benefits out of fear | NOW

Of the households that are entitled to benefits, an estimated one in ten does not claim it. That says the new Tax, Fees and Customs Inspectorate (IBTD), which is concerned about this. The regulator wants more to be done to ensure that they do apply for health care, rent or childcare benefits.

This is especially important, because prices for gas, petrol and electricity have risen sharply in recent times.

The Inspectorate speaks of a “significant group” that does not make use of surcharges. At the same time, the IBTD acknowledges that the available figures are dated and do not provide a clear picture. This makes it even clearer that too little attention is being paid to the subject, according to the regulator.

The fact that households do not apply for benefits is partly because the system is too complicated. In addition, the Inspectorate thinks that the scandal surrounding the childcare allowance, in which tens of thousands of parents were wrongly forced to pay back a lot of money, is causing fear in some households. As a result, they would not dare to apply for allowances.

Now that purchasing power is under pressure due to sky-high inflation, the Inspectorate wonders who will take responsibility for preventing the non-use of surcharges.

“The missed amount in allowances, a right for many households, could well be a lot higher than the amount that many households now receive as purchasing power compensation,” the regulator writes. By this, the IBTD refers to, among other things, measures that the cabinet has taken to reduce energy prices, such as a temporary reduction in VAT from next month.

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The IBTD was founded in response to the benefits scandal. The new supervisor, led by former MP Bart Snels, will not only look at the working methods of implementing bodies, but also at legislation and regulations and the role that ministries play as clients.

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