Inspectorate concerned that people are avoiding benefits out of fear

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Among the households that are entitled to benefits, it is estimated that one in ten do not apply for them. This means the new Tax, Fee and Customs Inspectorate (IBTD), which is worried about it. The regulator wants more to be done to ensure they apply for healthcare, rent or childcare benefits.

This is particularly important, as the prices of gas, gasoline and electricity have risen sharply in recent times.

The Inspectorate speaks of a “considerable group” which does not use the surcharges. At the same time, IBTD acknowledges that the figures available are dated and do not provide a clear picture. This makes it even clearer that too little attention is being paid to the subject, according to the regulator.

If households do not apply for benefits, it is partly because the system is too complicated. In addition, the Inspectorate believes that the childcare allowance scandal, in which tens of thousands of parents were wrongly forced to pay back a lot of money, is causing fear in some households. They would therefore not dare to ask for allowances.

While purchasing power is under pressure due to skyrocketing inflation, the Inspectorate wonders who will take responsibility for preventing the non-use of surcharges.

“The missed amount of allowances, a right for many households, could well be much higher than the amount that many households currently receive in compensation for purchasing power,” writes the regulator. By this, the IBTD refers, among other things, to the measures that the cabinet has taken to reduce energy prices, such as a temporary reduction in VAT from next month.

The IBTD was founded in response to the benefits scandal. The new supervisor, led by former MP Bart Snels, will look not only at the working methods of enforcement bodies, but also at legislation and regulations and at the role departments play as clients.

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