Child benefit for entire Caribbean Netherlands

Child benefit is being introduced in Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba. Following a proposal by Jetta Klijnsma, State Secretary for Social Affairs and Employment, the cabinet has approved a bill that will replace the current tax allowance for children with non-means tested child benefit. This will make parents with the lowest incomes better off and help reduce poverty further in the Caribbean Netherlands.

Parents on low incomes derive little or no benefit from the present system of child tax credit. Those who pay no or only minimal tax receive either no credit or only a small amount. However, these are the people who need extra money the most. Currently, the parents of 2,000 of a total of 5,000 children profit from the scheme. The new child benefit will apply to all 5,000 children.

The aim is to ensure that nobody is made worse off under the new system. The monthly child benefit amount has therefore been set at USD 38 (approximately 38 euros) per child. Most parents will end up better off, while others will receive the same as before.

The cabinet has agreed to submit the Bill to the Council of State for an advisory opinion. The text of the Bill and the Council of State's advisory opinion will be published when they are presented to the House of Representatives. The aim is to launch the child benefit system on 1 January 2016.