Labour tax credit is discriminatory, says professor Teunissen

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coins-branko-collinLast January an appeals court in Den Bosch heard a couple from Landgraaf, Limburg who claims that couples of which only one partner works still have a right to the full labour tax credit for both partners.

Currently only people who work, either as an employee or as an entrepreneur, enjoy this arbeidskorting (employment credit). The maximum credit you can receive this year is 3,223 euro per person.

According to law professor Jos Teunissen, who represented the couple in court, this is discriminatory and a violation of human rights (the article doesn’t say which human rights are violated specifically — one assumes he is talking about Aticle 12 of the ECHR which guarantees the right of partners to found a family the way they see fit).

In an article for Reformatorisch Dagblad, Teunissen argues that families in which one partner works can pay as much as 5 times as much income tax as families in which both partners work.

Teunissen finds support from former junior minister for Finance Martin van Rooijen who thinks the labour tax credit is discriminatory towards pensioners. In a opinion piece for Trouw in 2015, Van Rooijen argues that discriminating against pensioners is discrimination on the basis of age, which is also plumb illegal.

The labour tax credit was introduced in 2001, when it helped to replace a generic credit. According to Teunissen in a recent article in Trouw, its goal is to stimulate labour force participation of women. It is probably not a huge surprise then that it is mostly opposed by religious parties.

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