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The Netherlands: Speak No Dutch – Receive No Social Welfare Support

The VVD has come up with a proposal that will make it compulsory for immigrants to speak Dutch in order to receive social welfare support. Speak No Dutch, Receive  No Social Welfare Support, will make sure those who cannot speak the language receive no support from the government.

The Netherlands: Speak No Dutch - Receive No Social Welfare Support

A report published in the Dutch newspaper stated that the conservative party VVD has said that, only people who speak Dutch should be entitled for the social welfare support. The MP Cora van Nieuwenhuizen hopes to adopt a proposal from the governing VVD into legislation on January 1, 2013.

In 2010, the VVD declared that it intends to improve the social welfare system. It can rely on support from its smaller coalition partner, the Christian Democrats, as well as the democrat D66 opposition party. “It depends on the type of benefit, but the bottom line is I think anyone claiming welfare should be able to speak Dutch,” says D66 MP Fatma Koser Kaya in de Volkskrant.

The famous Geert Wilders’ anti-Islam Freedom Party, which supports the minority government in parliament, is also in favour of the proposal.

Dutch test “superfluous”

According to the Dutch Labour Party, the Socialist Party and GreenLeft, the proposed legislation is “needless” because, under the present system, social assistance claimants are forced to do their best to get work. They point out that many people receiving welfare are already attending Dutch classes so that they can apply for jobs in a Dutch-speaking atmosphere.

Ms Van Nieuwenhuizen says welfare applicants will be given a chance to improve their Dutch before having their welfare payments reduced if they fail the language test. “But if they don’t cooperate, then their payments can be reduced by 20 percent after six months. If they still resist after that, their benefit will be cut by 40 percent. Eventually, they will forfeit their right to social assistance altogether.”

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