The public health and social security system in the Netherlands is comprehensive but expensive.
Social security in the Netherlands can be subdivided into social welfare benefits (sociale voorzieningen ) and social insurance benefits (sociale verzekeringen ). There are also other arrangements that provide financial assistance, such as the housing subsidy or statutory funding of higher secondary and university education.
In addition, national insurance schemes (volksverzekeringen) are given to anyone with a Dutch residence permit. These cover old-age benefits, death benefits, long-term invalidity, some medical expenses and child allowances.
In recent years, there has been a growing argument for reducing public expenditure and the number of people classed as disabled. Compared with other EU countries, the non-working population in the Netherlands is very high (in 1991 there were 85.5 economically inactive persons for every 100 economically active persons). This questions the feasibility of the system and the willingness of the working population to pay the contributions necessary.
For more detailed information on the Dutch Social Security system, please contact the Sociale Verzekerings Bank (SVB). www.svb.org
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