Council of State critical of exclusion of students from energy allowance
The government plans to give everyone with a low income an energy allowance again this year, with the exeption of students. This is even being laid down by law. The Council of State considers that exception poorly substantiated.
The Council of State says that the yet unpublished bill states explicitly that students are not eligible for the energy allowance. The advisory department of the Council of State is critical of the new bill. It recognises that students live differently from most of the households that come under the minimum income policy. But that does not detract from the fact that students living away from home are faced with rising energy costs too. Especially if they have their own home.
The government’s argument that some students would get too much assistance applies not only to them, according to the advisory report. “It is not clear why overcompensation is deemed to be a problem in the case of students but not for others on a minimum income. The fact that students are getting an increase in the basic student grant does not make them a special case: considerable measures relating to purchasing power have been taken for all minimum-income people.”
In short, the Council of State is not convinced that a categoric exclusion of students is appropriate. It advises the government to provide better justification for the exclusion of students “and to amend the bill on this issue if necessary”. (HOP, HC)