These are 5 major changes in the Netherlands in 2024 so far

Some ups and downs. 🎢

We’re officially three months into 2024 (we’re not sure how that happened either). Have you noticed any of these major changes since the start of the year?

From wages, pensions, and government allowances to environmental laws and energy prices, here are the five biggest changes in the Netherlands in 2024 so far, according to Meldpunt.

1. Tobacco, alcohol, and soft drink taxes increase

Tobacco became more expensive on April 1, 2024, but only by a small margin, as this increase happens yearly.

Taxes on alcohol and soft drinks (or mixers, depending on how you see it) are also on the rise — a crate of beer will be €0.50 more expensive while the so-called “sugar tax” increases by €0.26 per litre for non-alcoholic beverages.

2. Minimum wages are calculated monthly

The Netherlands is transitioning from a minimum monthly wage to a minimum hourly wage, which gives some advantage to people who were working 40 hours to be considered full-time.

READ MORE | Salaries in the Netherlands: the ultimate guide to Dutch wages

The minimum wage will increase by 3.75% for those working a 36-hour week, while employees working a full 40-hour week will see an increase of 15% to their hourly wages.

3. Pension ages raised, but as are allowances

If you dream of early retirement, we hate to be party poopers, but the Dutch pension age will also increase in 2024, going up to 67 years.

That means you can only start receiving your Dutch state pension (Algemene Ouderdomswet or AOW) when you reach 67 years.

Not all hope is lost, though. Pension accrual in the Netherlands will now start at 18 years, meaning employers must pay pension contributions to younger employees, and Dutch pension funds are increasing by around 3% (this varies per fund).

4. Government allowances are growing, except for healthcare allowance

If you’re renting or have children, you’ll see a slightly bigger amount deposited into your bank account each month, as rent allowance, childcare allowance, and the child-related budget are all increasing this year.

However, the healthcare allowance was reduced at the start of this year following a temporary increase last year.

5. The energy price cap is disappearing

The government is also removing the cap on energy prices in the Netherlands, but there are a few silver linings.

Excise taxes on diesel and petrol won’t increase, and the energy surcharges on vulnerable households are also disappearing. Whew!

6. Disposable plastics are being banned

In an effort to be more sustainable, catering companies and restaurants are not allowed to offer disposable cutlery, cups, or containers to customers who are eating in the vicinity.

READ MORE | 9 surprisingly unsustainable Dutch habits

The Dutch government has also introduced a plastic tax for takeaway meals.

So far, 2024’s changes have been a mixed bag (not a plastic one, though), and we’re hoping for more positive moves over the next few months!

Have you felt any of these changes to your wallet? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image:Freepik
Katrien Nivera 🇵🇭
Katrien Nivera 🇵🇭
Third culture kid Katrien has been working as a writer and editor at DutchReview for over two years, originally moving to the Netherlands as a tween. Equipped with a Bachelor’s in communication and media and a Master’s in political communication, she’s here to stay for her passion for writing, whether it’s current Dutch affairs, the energy market, or universities. Just like the Dutch, Katrien lives by her agenda and enjoys the occasional frietje met mayo — she just wishes she could grow tall, too.


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