The Netherlands has one of the most comprehensive social insurance systems in the EU. The system is paid for with state funds, with employer contributions and with contributions from the individual. However, the costs of the system have increased as a large proportion of the population receives some kind of subsidy.
The Netherlands therefore began a major reform in the mid-1990s. The aim was to reduce the running costs of the state through privatizations, to make the complex system more efficient and to make it more abusive. Rules in occupational injury insurance have been changed so that far fewer people than before are entitled to sickness pension, while the level of compensation has been lowered.
- Countryaah Official Site: Official statistics for population in Netherlands, including population growth, density, and estimation in next 50 years.
Employers have also been given increased responsibility for both occupational injury insurance and sickness insurance. The pension system has long risked collapsing under increased costs, but in 2006 new rules were introduced that provide lower compensation but ensure the system’s survival.
Health care is largely run privately, primarily by religious or non-profit organizations. This also applies to maternal and child care.
In the Netherlands, possession, consumption and sales of small quantities of cannabis are allowed in special coffeeshops since 1976. Sales are not directly legal, but not punishable. The idea of tolerating cannabis is to prevent the use of heavier drugs. The criticism has at times been sharp in neighboring countries and the laws have sharpened somewhat.
The Dutch women are well represented in politics and administration compared to many other countries, but at the same time the situation in the labor market is uneven, with a significantly larger proportion of women working part-time.
The Netherlands was the first in the world to allow same-sex marriage, following a decision in 2000 that came into force in 2001. At the same time, gays were allowed to adopt.
The following year, the country became the first in the world to allow euthanasia, in strictly regulated forms, to seriously ill patients who in a convincing way themselves asked to end their lives. Euthanasia may also be given to minors from the age of twelve, but only with parental consent. In 2017, almost 7,000 people chose to die, which corresponds to just over 4 percent of all deaths. There is also a debate about extending the euthanasia law to include even the elderly who are not sick, if they feel they have lived their lives.
Prostitution has long been allowed and in order to gain better control over the business, brothels were allowed in 1997. The ban on coupling was abolished in 2000. An effect of the permitted prostitution is a comprehensive sexual trafficking of women and children.
Discrimination due to ethnicity is not allowed, but the attitudes towards immigrants and refugees have hardened since the turn of the millennium.
FACTS – SOCIAL CONDITIONS
Infant Mortality: 3 per 1000 births (2018)
Percentage of HIV infected: 0.2 percent (2017)
Proportion of HIV infected among young women
0.1 percent (2017)
Proportion of HIV infected among young men: 0.1 percent (2017)
Proportion of population with access to clean water: 100.0 percent (2015)
Proportion of the population having access to toilets: 97.7 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on health care as a percentage of GDP: 10.7 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on health care per person: 4,742 US dollars (2016)
Proportion of women in parliament: 36 percent (2018)
New government is formed
Prime Minister Rutte and his Liberal Deputy President form a new government across the block, with the Social Democratic Labor Party. The parties have agreed, among other things, on tax cuts and ceilings for unemployment benefits.
New elections are held
The Liberal Deputy CEO and the Labor Party PvdA are both moving forward when new elections are held for Parliament, receiving 41 and 38 seats, respectively. By contrast, voters Geert Wilders and the xenophobic PVV turn their backs, and the party backs from 24 to 15 seats.
New party leader in CDA
The Christian Democratic Party CDA appoints Sybrand van Haersma Buma as party leader.
The government is leaving
Prime Minister Mark Rutte submits his and the government’s resignation applications and thereby pays for new elections. Before that, the government has failed to agree on the budget. The VVD and CDA have negotiated austerity measures, as the pressured economic situation has led to a higher budget deficit than EU rules allow and warnings have been made about lower credit ratings. But PVV leader Geert Wilders has described the proposals as unacceptable.
New leader of the Labor Party
Former Greenpeace activist Diederik Samson is elected new party leader for the Labor Party PvdA after Job Cohen, who has held the post since the summer of 2010.