- Category: News
- Created on Tuesday, 15 May 2012 11:11
- Written by Amsterdam Herald
VVD MP Cora van Nieuwenhuizen says making benefits dependent on proficiency in the language would stimulate people to improve their language skills and reduce the burden on taxpayers.
Benefits would be reduced initially to 80 per cent of the full payment where there is a reasonable suspicion that a claimant speaks poor Dutch, defined as below the level required in citizenship tests.
If there is no improvement after six months the amount would be reduced to 60 per cent before being withdrawn altogether if no progress is made after a year.
Van Nieuwenhuizen said the law should apply to everybody claiming benefits, including citizens of other EU nations and Turks. ‘We’re not prescribing how they should learn Dutch, only that they should reach the required level,’ she said.
She said she would be soliciting the support of other parties so that the bill can be put before Parliament before September’s election.
‘People are on benefits because they can’t work. One important reason for that is that they speak no or very little Dutch,’ said Van Nieuwenhuizen.
‘There is a growing body of opinion that people should be involved in society and therefore should speak Dutch. This is the only way to enforce it.’