Cutbacks hit some harder than others

RNW archive

This article is part of the RNW archive. RNW is the former Radio Netherlands Worldwide or Wereldomroep, which was founded as the Dutch international public broadcaster in 1947. In 2011, the Dutch government decided to cut funding and shift RNW from the ministry of Education, Culture and Science to the ministry of Foreign Affairs. More information about RNW Media’s current activities can be found at

Marcel has been living independently for a year now. He gets help from care organisation Nedereind since he has limited intellectual function. He couldn’t manage without their help. Unfortunately, the Dutch government has plans to cut the funding of care for people with IQs between 70 and 85.

Marcel has trouble controlling his emotions. He is easily annoyed and becomes aggressive. He is currently employed in Nedereind’s work facility, since he has trouble accepting the authority of a normal boss. “I’ve tried, but I just can’t do it” he says.

Nedereind’s director Harry Eleveld argues that care for people like Marcel is of great benefit to society. “A day in prison is much more expensive than 24 hours of care.”

The Netherlands has around 40,000 people with IQs between 70 and 85. The funding cuts are expected to raise 240 million euros a year.