ICAP has to date, October 2018, carried out four surveys of the views of the international community in the Netherlands – on education; on housing; on healthcare and, the proposed changes to the 30% ruling. Below, some key findings and updates on the results, as well as a heartfelt thank you to those who have participated in our surveys, know your voices are being heard.
Want to be kept informed on future surveys? You can sign up to take part here.
In April of this year (2018), when news came of proposed changes to the 30% ruling and in particular the lack of a transition period, ICAP decided to poll the community about its thoughts. More than 4,500 people responded, and the results of the survey were shared, in a letter to the Finance Committee, as well as media and community organisations such as United Expats of the Netherlands. A copy of this letter, with our general findings, commentary and conclusions, can be found here.
Some key findings include:
63% will lose up to €1,000 in take-home income when they no longer qualify for the ruling
31% will lose the benefit on January 1, 2019
over 50% of respondents losing the benefit before December 31st 2019
71% said the 30% ruling was a factor in making the move
13% work for a university and 41% for a Dutch company
April 2018: With appreciation to our community, we shared an update on what together we have achieved.
"Your views are having a "huge and positive impact"
In Amsterdam, for example, our housing survey is being used to tailor a new approach to helping new arrivals find a place to live.
This is what IN Amsterdam (formerly Amsterdam expatcenter) told us:
‘The survey has had a huge and positive impact and has helped draw up the basis of the Housing Analysis and Action Plan we are currently working on. The Amsterdam Metropolitan Area agreed with the budget proposal to position the greater Amsterdam region more towards internationals as a place to live, due to your work!! That plan also includes measures to improve our English information supply on housing and housing possibilities.’
Key Findings - What we’ve learned so far:
The education survey revealed that most new arrivals don’t get any help with paying for their children’s education and that at least half of you want to send your children to a Dutch school.
The housing survey showed that a large majority of you feel you are paying too much rent, and that most people want to cycle to work – and for no more than 30 minutes.
In the Press - Here’s some of the press coverage we have received so far:
Expats have been in the headlines in a big way in recent months as well. Amsterdam local broadcaster AT5, for example, carried a bizarre story about expats causing problems and forcing up rents while the Parool wrote about expat children in Amstelveen ‘overwhelming’ local schools.
As our ICAP surveys show, most parents want their children to go to a local school, so building more international schools is not the answer, whatever the Parool might think.
The local elections also created quite a buzz and the international vote was suddenly in demand. Research by DutchNews.nl showed that political parties have woken up to the power of the expat vote – no less than 60 of the 75 local branches of the big national parties had some sort of information in English.
The healthcare survey is still being processed, but we can already tell you that your opinions on the Dutch healthcare system range from great to terrible. A surprising number of you have had treatment abroad and it is pretty obvious that much needs to be done to explain how the Dutch system actually works.
Most of you also think that most Dutch women have drugs-free home births. In fact, just 13% actually do so! More on the results later.
We will be carrying out a new survey later in the year, with the focus on discrimination so get ready for that one.
For now, we would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to every single one of you who has participated in and helped to further the distribution of our surveys. With each survey we launch our respondents increase in the hundreds. We are committed to raising the voice of the international community in the Netherlands and we could not do it without your support.
Robin, Deborah, Lynn and Emmy
For more information about the ICAP surveys, please get in touch.
February 2017: The ICAP education survey was carried out at the end of 2016. The aim was to find out what the international community thought about education in the Netherlands - international or otherwise – as well as how the community meets the educational needs of their families and what challenges families face.
Top 5 key findings
55% of respondents had children at a Dutch school, 23% at a private international school
56% said closeness to home was most important factor in school choice, 53% said international environment, 36% said cost
49% would consider a Dutch school if more emphasis on English
Just 12% said their Dutch school was unhelpful in dealing with children who did not speak Dutch
63% had no help from their employer in paying school fees – this figure was higher in Amsterdam