THE HAGUE - The Dutch population’s confidence in the government and De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), the country’s central bank, has fallen sharply in the past year. This is partly due to high inflation, the war in Ukraine, the coronavirus pandemic and the increased energy bill, according to research from DNB.
Last autumn, just 22 percent said their confidence in the country’s politicians could be described as either high or very high. That was down from 42 percent in the spring of 2021. The rate of those indicating confidence in the DNB fell from 75 percent to 66 percent. The DNB regularly and annually surveys the public on their confidence level, and conducted additional surveys last September and October.
“Confidence is related to many factors and a lot has happened in recent years that probably has an effect on the confidence of the Dutch,” the DNB said. The bank also states that the sharp price increases are mainly caused by factors that are out of the control of central banks and governments.
According to the researchers, confidence is lowest among consumers who are experiencing sharp price increases when doing their daily shopping, and among those whose energy bills have risen substantially. In the fall of 2022, almost three in ten residents of the Netherlands experienced a minimum 30 percent price increase for their groceries in a year.
Almost one in five had to deal with a minimum 150 euro increase in their energy bills every month. “Furthermore, in response to high inflation, many people say they are spending more money, and using less energy to lower energy costs.”
The high price increases do not only have financial consequences. One in five Dutch people experience more stress due to the price increases. “People who experience stress from inflation have less confidence in central banks and the national government than other people. The same applies to those who struggle to make ends meet financially and people who eat away at savings or see debt arise,” according to the DNB.