Outrage as Dutch authorities give up to €10k to refugees to ‘go shopping’
Asylum seekers who get allocated to certain towns in the Netherlands may get as much as €10,000 to buy furniture for their homes, according to research carried out by the daily Brabants Dagblad (BD).
Talking to the local authorities, Brabants Dagblad found the sum of money varies in different municipalities.
While Oisterwijk, South Netherlands offers as much as €10,602 for a family with two children, in other cities, such as Bernheze, Schijndel Veghel and Sint-Michielsgestel the same family may receive around €3,500. Boekel offers the smallest amount of €2,200.
BD also said that some cities require refugees to pay the sum back, while others, such as the most generous Oisterwijk consider the money “a gift."
Leader of the right-wing populist Party for Freedom (PVV), Geert Wilders said the whole situation is “discrimination” against Dutch residents, urging Dutch Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher and the public prosecutor to address the issue.
“Hey Asscher and Public Prosecutor, why don’t you address this discrimination? For a ‘refugee’ but not for the Dutch?” he tweeted.
He Asscher en OM, waarom pakken jullie deze DISCRIMINATIE niet aan?— Geert Wilders (@geertwilderspvv) May 27, 2016
Wel voor "vluchtelingen" maar niet voor NL-ers? pic.twitter.com/qGMggo3Lvl
On social media many slammed the government calling its decision “ridiculous” and “idiotic."
“What a terrible signal to those people ... free this free that,” one user said on Twitter.
Oisterwijk in particular faced criticism for “playing Santa Claus” to refugees while some of its residents are living below the poverty line, according to comments.
The BD report cited several charities as saying that €2,000 were a reasonable sum for a family to get on its feet in the Netherlands. An IKEA spokesman estimated that with €10,000 euros one could buy plenty of nice furniture at the shop.