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Debt Troubles: Contrasting Approaches in the Netherlands and Curaçao

Debt Troubles: Contrasting Approaches in the Netherlands and Curaçao

 

May 14, 2024

 

In her article for Vrij Nederland, Karin Sitalsing delves into the issue of debt among young people. She discusses a specific program initiated by the municipality of Groningen to help this demographic. While the program has seen some success, with some participants managing to turn their financial situations around, others find it too cumbersome to continue. However, as Sitalsing points out, dealing with debt can always be challenging.

She describes clients who, on a Monday, spend €30 on groceries, which is half of their weekly budget. Some of these clients desire to quit the program but lack the self-confidence to do so, fearing that even spending €10 extra might jeopardize their progress. However, the article ends on a positive note, highlighting the story of a client who wants to study Social Pedagogical Work, aiming to use his experiences to help others.

In stark contrast, the situation in Curaçao is a crisis. Between 65% and 88% of the population is in debt, with a significant portion of them indebted to loan sharks or woekeraar. Unlike in Groningen, there are no effective programs to help people manage their debts. This lack of support is not just a problem, it's a ticking time bomb. While there are some working groups attempting to address the issue, there are no concrete solutions being offered to clients. Instead, what is seen is an increase in the number of organizations offering credit, further ensnaring people in debt and perpetuating the cycle of poverty on the island.


Miguel Goede

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C. Belfor
C. Belfor
May 15

Het probleem bestaat niet nu ons volk aan verarming lijdt. Het probleem van duurzame banen (vastedienst) wordt al tientallen jaren aan de orde gesteld, waarbij de werkende bevolking zonder vaste banen zich moet wenden tot woekeraars of instellingen die hogerentesystemen gebruiken om hun risico’s af te dekken.


Het probleem is niet alleen dat er geen effectieve programma's zijn om mensen te helpen hun schulden te beheren, maar ook het probleem van duurzame banen. Er bestaat geen systeem dat dit fenomeen kan onderdrukken. Denk hierbij aan algemene pensioenregelingen en/of redelijke financieringsmogelijkheden.

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The sad truth.

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