Social Affairs Minister Henk Kamp, known for his unfounded and dare I say xenophobic arguments against Eastern Europeans, is apparently totally wrong about the burden he believes the Polish are to the Dutch economy. Kamp’s usual argument for not being a fan of the Poles, or Romanians and Bulgarians (stlightly different situation because of work permit regulations still in effect) is that unemployed Dutch people should be doing the work they do, which has more to do about his perception of the unemployed in the Netherlands.
According to financial daily Het Financieele Dagblad, the 150,000 working Polish are good for € 1,8 bln towards the Dutch economy and pay taxes to the tune of € 1,2 bln. The research also showed that these workers barely push any Dutch workers out of their jobs. In fact, Kamp reinforces their point by saying that the Dutch unemployed refuse to do this low-wage, difficult work, so of course companies will turn to people who are willing to work.
In a country that likes to see price tags of everything, I suggest Kamp stops with his tired xenophobia and does something about the exploitation of Poles and others in these low-wage jobs. The unemployed aren’t stupid: why should they run the risk of being exploited themselves when they can just get money to stay home?
It seems to me that hard working Eastern Europeans have put a mirror up to Dutch society and the Minister didn’t like what he saw in it.