Right Wing Party Trumpets ‘Cost of Immigrants’ in Netherlands

Geert Wilders has publicly announced that the influx of non-Western immigrants to the Netherlands is costing Dutch society 7.2 billion euros per year. Wilders, leader of the far- right Freedom Party, bases his claims on a research report commissioned by the party from the Nyfer economic research unit. Nyfer concluded that immigrants to the Netherlands rely more on public services and are paying fewer taxes than the average native Dutch person. Non-Western immigrants are also less likely to use subsidized child care or become involved in higher education, and have smaller state pensions because they do not meet the 50 year residency requirement. The figure was derived by calculating the net contribution of immigrants to the public sector, and does not include effects on the labour or housing market.
Wilders called the results ‘shocking’and claims that the figures confirm a need for measures restricting immigration from Islamic countries and elsewhere. Labour leader Job Cohen responded to the report by stating he would “never take the costs of a human being, whether immigrant or native, as a starting point for any policies”. The report is released in the run up to national elections scheduled for June 9, 2010.

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