There are still families in Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba who are not receiving child allowance (kinderbijslag). Families will be encouraged to register their children, so they can receive this allowance.
Dutch State Secretary of Social Affairs and Labour Tamara van Ark stated this in a letter she sent to the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament this week. The letter accompanied a report on the execution of the Child Allowance Law (Kinderbijslagwet BES).
The implementation of the law in its current format has proven to be feasible and many families are making use of it. However, the data from the Census Office show that not all parents of children up to the age of 18 are receiving the child allowance.
In some cases, parents are excluded from receiving the allowance due to an expired residency permit, or because the child in question receives study financing. Sometimes the child allowance is administratively blocked.
The Social Affairs and Labour SZW Unit at the National Government Service Caribbean Netherlands RCN aims to track all parents who have a right to child allowance. The plan is to send a letter to all home addresses where children live for whom child allowance has not been requested yet. An active communications strategy is part of the effort to get more children registered for child allowance.
Per December 31, 2017, child allowance was paid for a total of 4,311 children in Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. This is a bit higher than the figure of late 2016, which was 4,184. The paid amount totalled a little more than 2 million euros in 2017. In 2016, 1.8 million was paid out in child allowance.
The child allowance in St. Eustatius and Saba is 42 US dollars per child per month, which is considerably less than what parents in the Netherlands receive for their children under 18. Just this week, the Christian Democratic Party CDA and the Democratic Party D66 called for an increase of the child allowance on the islands per January 1, 2019. The child allowance was introduced in the Caribbean Netherlands on January 1, 2016.
The Daily Herald.