NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 15:23
Amsterdam is also not allowed to exclude students as a group from a one-off energy surcharge. A student did not agree that the municipality rejected his application for the scheme and has now been proved right by the court.
The energy surcharge is a national scheme to compensate low-income people for the high energy prices. People who have to live on a minimum wage can receive a one-off payment of 1300 euros per household.
In most municipalities, students cannot make use of this scheme. They can try to get a supplement through individual special assistance, but there are stricter conditions for this.
Municipalities drew up this policy on the advice of the Minister for Poverty Reduction. Because the living situation of students is diverse, according to the minister, the money ended up with the student households that actually need it via the special assistance.
But students think that’s unfair. Earlier, a student therefore filed a case against the municipality of Nijmegen. He was proved right last summer, so that students there can still receive an energy allowance.
Other municipalities subsequently also decided to make the energy allowance available to students, but not all municipalities did so. In Amsterdam, among others, students still had to rely on special assistance.
Distinction between students and non-students
Today’s ruling changes that in Amsterdam. The judge agrees with the student that the municipality of Amsterdam cannot explain well enough why students cannot claim the one-off allowance.
“For example, the scheme also includes young people aged 21 and older who are at the start of their career and who receive a starting salary of just above the minimum wage. There are students who are in exactly the same situation as this group in terms of their income and living situation. To that extent, there is therefore an unequal treatment of comparable cases,” the court ruled.
It does not mean that the 24-year-old student who brought the case against Amsterdam will immediately receive the energy surcharge. It is not clear whether he meets other conditions. The municipality must make a decision on this within six weeks.