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Dutch News
Families should take on more care tasks for relatives, says minister 1/13/2013
Saturday 12 January 2013

Families should take more time to help their relatives who need extra care, junior health minister Martin van Rijn told a television talk show on Friday evening.
A bigger role for families would be a good way to keep care affordable, Van Rijn told the Pauw & Witteman show.
He says there should be agreement between family carers and the professional sector about ‘who can do what’. This would allow the elderly to get the help they need but at no extra cost.
Spending cuts
The government is planning to slash €1bn from the bill for home helps and nursing over the coming years. In addition, responsibility is being transferred from national to local government.
According to Saturday’s Parool, some 30,000 people in Amsterdam could be effected by the changes and council executive Eric van der Burg plans to ask the cabinet to re-examine the impact of the changes.
The cuts will among to up to €250m, he says, and will lead to some 20,000 people no longer getting home helps. In addition a further 3,500 people will not be considered eligible for a place in a nursing home.
‘It remains to be seen if the elderly and other Amsterdammers in need of care actually have a network to fall back on if they have to stay at home longer,’ SP councilor Maureen van der Pligt told the paper.

Mild winter comes to an end, two weeks of frost ahead
Thursday 10 January 2013

The Netherlands has not had such a mild winter since records began at the Bilt weather station in 1901, weather bureau Weerplaza.nl said on Thursday.
Over the past three weeks, the average temperature has been 8 Celsius, beating the previous record of 7.7 Celsius. It was also the cloudiest winter period since 1951.
However, that is set to change. The wind has now moved to the northeast, bringing in cold air and frost.
Weather forecasters say the freezing period due to start on Friday could last up to the end of the month but will be with us until at least January 24.
The temperature is set to plunge to up to -5 Celsius at the weekend and will remain around zero during the day.

Simpler income tax rules lead to extra premiums for some firms
Friday 11 January 2013

Hospitality, cleaning, retail and healthcare companies will be faced with sharply higher wage bills this year, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Friday.
The paper says changes in the way income tax and other premiums are calculated mean they will have to pay more unemployment benefit (ww) premiums than last year.
For example, since January 1, employers have had to pay 1.7% in jobless benefit premiums on the first €17,000 of earnings. This, the paper says, hits some sectors harder than others because they employ many low-paid staff.
Health insurance
Employers have always paid premiums on earnings above that figure, but the government wants to spread the levy over an entire salary.
In addition, employers have to pay increased health insurance premiums on behalf of their workers. This has gone up from 7.1% to 7.75%, the paper says.
The retail and hospitality sector associations expect wage costs to rise between 1% and 2.5% this year, partly due to the tax changes.
Wage costs rose by an average 2.2% last year, the national statistics office CBS said earlier this week.

Pilots plan to sue ABN Amro for allowing them to borrow money
Wednesday 09 January 2013

A group of seven unemployed pilots are attempting to sue ABN Amro bank for being irresponsible in granting them huge loans to pay for their training, RTL news reports on Wednesday.
The pilots say the bank was far too lax in allowing them to borrow thousands of euros to pay for their flying schools while there is little prospect of finding work.
''We estimate there are 1,200 to 1,300 unemployed pilots,'' Evert van Zwol of the pilots'' associaiton VNV told the broadcaster.
Interest rates
The cost of becoming a qualified commercial pilot can mount up to €150,000, which generates around €1,000 in interest a month. ABN Amro is the only Dutch bank to offer loans to trainee pilots.
''The law states that you have to give young people with little financial knowledge extended information and point out the risks. Unfortunately, that did not happen in the cases I am concerned with,'' lawyer Frank Olberts told RTL news.
He represents the seven unemployed pilots who say they will take legal action if efforts to reach an out of court settlement fail.
ABN Amro has dismissed the charges out of hand, the broadcaster said.

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