Rising costs over the past year continue to strain citizens. The number of citizens who cannot pay their energy bill is increasing.
According to the statement made by energy companies Eneco and Vattenfall, there was an increase in the number of people who could not pay their gas and electricity bills at the end of last year. Eneco said the number of people in debt increased by 10 percent, and Vattenfall by 20 to 30 percent.
After the Russia-Ukraine war that broke out last year, Russia’s curtailment of natural gas imported to European countries and the increase in prices created a severe fluctuation in the energy market. However, its effect still continues. The regular use of gas to generate electricity has also increased electricity prices. Electricity costs for some households increased by hundreds of euros.
Eneco warned last summer that the number of customers struggling to pay their bills was starting to increase. In the company’s latest statement, it was stated that the number of these people increased by about 10 percent and that tens of thousands of people among about two million customers had difficulty in payment.
Explaining that payment problems increased at the beginning of last year, Vattenfallen stated that there was a slight decrease in the number of people who could not pay their bills in the second quarter of the year, but increased again in the fourth quarter. The number of people who couldn’t pay their bills increased by about 20 to 30 percent last year, according to the company.
Although it is not clear exactly how, Essent said that last year, the number of customers who could not pay their bills decreased compared to a year ago. The company stated that there was a slight increase in the number of customers who fell into debtor position in December 2022.
As it is known, the government, which wants to support the citizens in increasing energy prices, has passed the ceiling price application in energy as of January 1, 2023. In this application the government will pay a part of the energy bill. However, according to energy companies, the effect of this practice on the number of debtors will only be revealed in the coming period.
Parliament approved the reduction of social housing rents to 575 euros in the Netherlands
The amendment that Housing Minister De Jonge wanted to make in the law received the support of a majority of the House of Representatives. Social housing rental costs are reduced.
The bill, which was presented by Housing Minister Hugo de Jonge in December last year, allowing low-income tenants living in social housing to reduce the rental price, was supported by the majority of the House of Representatives.
If the bill becomes law, the rental prices of households living in social housing and low income levels will be reduced to 575 euros. Households with an income of less than 120 percent of the minimum wage will benefit from this discount. (Average 2320 euros).
The discount on social housing rents will be valid for residences under 808 euros. In its current form, the law does not cover private sector housing.
The parliamentary majority supported the plan.
A majority of the House of Representatives approved the Minister’s amendment to the Housing Act. However, the opposition parties demanded that the rent reduction should not only benefit 600 thousand low-income households living in social housing, but also nearly 100 thousand households living in private sector residences.
While the parties PvdA, GroenLinks, PVV and SP demanded the Minister to make the necessary changes in the law, they stated that they will vote in favor of the law.
While the coalition partners, CDA and D66 parties, supported the inclusion of tenants in private sector residences in this law, they predicted that an average of 57 euros per month rent reduction would create technical problems. It was stated that the first of these problems was the tax system.
Most industries in the Netherlands have become dependent on immigrants
It is stated that many sectors in the Netherlands have become dependent on migrant workers and services cannot be met without foreign workers.
While many sectors in the Netherlands are dependent on a growing number of migrant workers, experts believe that services cannot be provided without foreign workers.
In the news site NU.nl, it was stated that the number of workers with a migrant background is increasing and many sectors are dependent on foreign workers.
In the news, it was stated that in the period of 2006-2021, the number of foreign workers in the country increased 4 times and approximately 800,000 migrant workers, especially from Eastern European countries, were working in the country.
A march will be held in the Netherlands for the ugly action against the Quran
Pointing out that migrant workers are employed in delivery, warehouse and distribution centers, especially in the agriculture and horticulture sector, experts’ views on the dependency of some sectors on migrant workers were included in the news.
In the news, it was shared that a large number of migrant workers, especially from Poland, Bulgaria and Romania, came to the Netherlands in the last 15 years.
Olaf van Vliet, professor of economics at Leiden University, stressed that migrant workers are especially working in low-wage jobs. “If they leave today, it will be difficult to fill their place.” used the phrase.
Pointing out that hiring foreign workers is a political decision and that it brings with it a number of social problems such as housing shortages, Van Vliet said, “If labor costs increase, consumers will feel it. For example, orders may no longer be delivered for free.” made its assessment.
“These people make a significant contribution to our economy”
Frank van Gool, director of the employment firm OTTO Work Force, stated that some sectors cannot function without migrant workers, adding, “In the absence of these, markets and vegetable stalls will remain empty. There will be problems in the health, construction and technology sectors. There are even Filipino workers in our health sector.” used the phrases.
Noting that he found it right to discuss the social problems that come with the increasing number and place of migrant workers in employment, Van Gool said, “But that doesn’t mean we don’t need those people. These people make a significant contribution to our economy.” commented.
Balance sheets of Apple, Amazon and Alphabet released
Apple’s last quarter of 2022 sales decreased by 5 percent.
Alphabet’s revenue fell short of market expectations at $76.1 billion in the last quarter of last year, while Amazon’s sales surpassed expectations at $149.2 billion in the same period.
The balance sheets of Apple, Amazon and Alphabet 2022 for the October-December period were announced.
While the revenues of US technology giants Apple and Alphabet, the parent company of Google, fell short of expectations in the October-December period of last year, Amazon’s sales exceeded market expectations in the same period.
Shares of Google, Apple and Amazon also fell sharply, while tech stocks fell in post-closing trading following the release of the balance sheets.
APPLE’S INCOME DROPPED
According to the statement made by Apple, the sales of the company, which considered the October-December period of last year as the first quarter in its balance sheet, decreased by 5 percent compared to the same period of the previous year and fell to 117.2 billion dollars. The company had revenue of $123.9 billion in the same period of 2021.
Thus, Apple experienced a year-on-year decline in sales for the first time since 2019. The company’s revenue in the same period also fell short of market expectations of $121.1 billion.
Apple’s net profit, on the other hand, decreased by 13 percent in the October-December period of 2022 compared to the same period of the previous year, falling to $ 30 billion. The company’s net profit was recorded as $34.6 billion in the same period of 2021.
The firm’s earnings per share also fell from $2.10 to $1.88 in the given period.
IPHONE AND IMAC SALES DECREASED, IPAD SALES INCREASED
In this period, while Apple’s smartphone and computer sales decreased, tablet sales increased.
In the October-December period of last year, the amount of iPhone sales decreased by 8 percent compared to the same period of the previous year and decreased to 65.8 billion dollars. In the same period, Mac sales fell 29 percent to $7.7 billion, while iPad sales increased 30 percent to $9.4 billion.
On the other hand, Apple Chief Executive (CEO), Tim Cook, in an interview with CNBC, stated that the company’s financial results were affected by the strong dollar, the overall macroeconomic environment with the Kovid-19 restrictions in China affecting iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max production.
AMAZON SALES EXCEEDED EXPECTATIONS
American e-commerce giant Amazon’s sales exceeded market expectations in the last quarter of last year.
According to the statement made by the company, Amazon’s revenue in the 4th quarter of last year increased by 9 percent compared to the same period of the previous year and reached 149.2 billion dollars. The company’s sales in the last quarter of 2021 were recorded as 137.4 billion dollars.
The firm’s sales in the last quarter of last year exceeded market expectations of $145.4 billion. Amazon’s sales rose to $514 billion in 2022, an increase of 9 percent compared to the previous year. The company’s sales were calculated at $469.8 billion in 2021.
The net profit of the company was recorded as 300 million dollars in the said period. Amazon’s net profit in the fourth quarter of 2021 was $14.3 billion.
The e-commerce giant reported a loss of $2.7 billion in 2022. Amazon made a profit of $33.4 billion in 2021. The company’s earnings per share, which was $1.39 in the fourth quarter of 2021, also fell to 3 cents in the same period last year.
ALPHABET DID NOT MEET EXPECTATIONS
Google’s parent company Alphabet also increased its revenue in the last quarter of last year, while its profits fell.
According to the company statement, Alphabet’s revenue in the fourth quarter of last year increased by 1 percent compared to the same period of the previous year, reaching $ 76.1 billion. The company announced revenue of $ 75.3 billion in the October-December period of 2021.
Alphabet’s revenue fell short of market expectations of $76.5 billion despite the limited increase in the period in question. The company’s revenue reached $282.8 billion in 2022, an increase of 10 percent compared to the previous year. Alphabet’s revenue was estimated at $257.6 billion in 2021.
Alphabet’s net profit, on the other hand, fell 34% year-on-year to $13.6 billion in the last quarter of last year. The company had a net profit of $20.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2021.
The company’s net profit in 2022 was $59.9 billion. The company reported a profit of $76 billion in 2021. Alphabet’s earnings per share, which was $1.53 in the fourth quarter of 2021, also fell to $1.05 in the same period last year.
Inflation continues to fall in the Netherlands: January inflation is 7.6%
Inflation fell to 7.6% last month, according to the Dutch Statistical Institute’s (CBS) preliminary estimate.
Since February last year, life was rapidly becoming more expensive. In September, inflation peaked at 14.5%. But over the last few months, prices have risen a little less sharply.
January was the fourth month in a row that inflation fell compared to the previous month. This is entirely due to gas, electricity and gasoline prices, which rose last year but have fallen recently.
The fall in inflation has not yet been reflected in supermarkets.
In order to make a good comparison with other European countries, CBS presented, among other things, inflation figures calculated according to the European harmonized method, which does not take into account housing rents. According to this method, inflation, which was 11% in December, was stated as 8.4% in January.
CBS noted that this is a quick initial estimate. Final figures will be announced by the Statistics office later this month.
8% increase in minimum wage in Spain
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced that by increasing the minimum wage by 8 percent, the minimum wage, which is currently 1000 euros per month and will be paid 14 times a year with bonuses, will be increased to 1080 euros.
Spanish Prime Minister Sanchez, in his speech in the Senate to explain the social and economic effects of the Ukraine-Russia war, announced the minimum wage increase as 8 percent.
Reminding that the minimum wage was 735 euros in 2018, the year they first came to power, Sanchez underlined that they have decided to raise 36 percent in total with the increase they have made every year.
“With this new hike, we have increased the minimum wage to 60 percent of the average Spanish salary,” Sanchez said. Thus, we have fulfilled our democratic obligation towards our workers and our commitment in the legislative process.” said.
Since the socialist government came to power, the minimum wage, which is paid 14 times a year, with bonuses twice a year, has been increased to 764 euros in 2018, 900 euros in 2019, 950 in 2020, 965 euros in 2021 and 1000 euros in 2022.
CRITICAL TO COMPANIES THAT DISCLOSE HIGH PROFITS
Sanchez also pointed out that the purchasing power of Spaniards has decreased greatly in recent years, and criticized the big companies that declared high profits by making profit distribution only to senior managers.
Prime Minister Sanchez said:
“In the last 10 years, the average price increase in the products purchased by Spaniards has been 17.6 percent, while the rate of increase in the employees of companies in the private sector remained at 10.6 percent. This is unacceptable. In 1999, a Spaniard could buy a house equal to the sum of his 4 years’ salary. Now they cannot buy a house even with a total salary of 8 years. I think this is not fair. Why are the profits distributed to a few people? That needs to be changed.”
There are more than 2.5 million minimum wage workers in Spain.
On the other hand, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Labor Yolanda Diaz had invited union leaders and the President of the Spanish Confederation of Industrialists and Employers, Antonio Garamendi, to a meeting this morning to determine the minimum wage increase.
Garamendi did not attend the meeting on the grounds that the government did not forward its proposal for a minimum wage increase to them and did not respond to their written requests.
Albert Nunez Feijoo, leader of the main opposition right-wing People’s Party (PP), accused Prime Minister Sanchez of “lying to the Spaniards by hiding the country’s truth”.
Feijoo said, “While the government shows its economic steps as a victory, Spain is the country with the highest increase in foreign debt among EU countries, the last country to reach the Gross Domestic Product before Kovid-19 and the highest unemployment rate in the EU. told.
In the last general elections held in Spain in 2019, the Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) led by Sanchez and the ultra-leftist Unidas Podemos formed a coalition government with the outside support of the separatist Basque and Catalan parties in the parliament.
Although the latest polls in Spain, where the general election will be held in November under normal circumstances, show PSOE as the party that will win the elections, it is commented that the PP and the far-right Vox party will capture the necessary majority to form the government.
At least 600,000 households in the Netherlands suffer from high energy costs
600,000 households in the Netherlands live in energy poverty. The main reasons for this are rising energy costs, poor insulation and low income.
If a household has to live on minimum wage or benefits, even a small increase in energy prices can cause payment problems, and the problem is exacerbated when you add living in poorly insulated housing. In such a situation, households have to cope with “energy poverty”.
Research organization TNO published the report “Energy poverty in the Netherlands 2022”. According to the report, it was stated that more than 600,000 households lived in energy poverty last year. In other words, the energy costs of hundreds of thousands of households have increased, besides, the insulation of the houses is very bad and the people living in these houses are generally low-income.
Without the government’s support, the figure would have reached millions!
According to the figures announced by TNO, while 510 thousand households in the country had to cope with energy poverty two years ago, this figure increased to at least 600 thousand households last year. According to TNO, the increase would have been much higher had it not been for the government’s energy assistance.
TNO, who reached this conclusion by comparing the data of the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) in 2020 with the high energy prices in 2022, states that the energy incentives given last year and the data obtained with energy savings are also used in the calculations.
Peter Mulder, one of the researchers at the institution, stated that the energy aid provided brakes on the increase in the number of energy poor houses, and said that “if it were not for the financial support of the government, the number of energy poor households would have increased by two compared to 2020 and exceeded one million.”
Two-thirds of energy-poor households belong to home offices
More than two-thirds of energy-poor households are home office-owned residences, according to TNO figures. Nearly 20 percent of energy-poor homes are private sector rentals, and around 12 percent are purchased homes.
Most residents of low-energy-label households are single-person households and single-parent families. 19 percent of those living in an energy-poor house in 2020 and 33 percent in 2022 consist of families with children.
According to the study, most of the households affected by energy poverty are located in the eastern and northeastern parts of the country and in major cities. Energy poverty is particularly prevalent in Noordoost-Groningen, Zuid-Limburg, Rotterdam, Den Haag, Arnhem and its environs, as well as in Almelo and Enschede.
Mulder explains that “there are relatively many low-income households in these areas and their homes are poorly insulated. This is not a good combination at all with high energy prices.”
Energy poor households spent an average of 12.7 percent of their income on energy costs last year, up from 9 percent in 2020, according to the TNO study. In other words, while energy-poor households paid 65 euros more than the monthly average in 2020, they had to pay 190 euros more than usual in 2022. It is estimated that the increase in the cost of the invoice could reach an average of 260 euros without government support.
The researchers noted that in the Netherlands overall, households spent 4.2 percent of their income on energy costs in 2020, but last year, the bill paid for energy increased to 7.8 percent of income.
The only solution is to increase sustainability
According to researcher Peter Mulder, the only way out of this situation is to increase the sustainability of residences, especially rental homes with low energy labels.
According to the researcher, there are 415,000 energy-poor houses with F and G labels. These houses can only be heated at great cost. He states that insulating these houses will enable the person living in that house to save money, improve his health, and thus reduce the health costs.
Energy support of up to 5000 euros to small businesses in Amsterdam
The Municipality of Amsterdam will give additional energy support to small businesses in the city between 1000 euros and 5000 euros on a one-time basis.
Amsterdam Municipality, which wants to support small businesses that have to struggle with the increase in energy costs, will give aid between 1000 euros and 5000 euros to businesses with at least 2 and maximum 10 personnel.
The municipality aims to spend 7 million euros of the 10 million euro support package it offers for small and medium-sized businesses to small businesses. Enterprises registered with the Chamber of Commerce and residing in Amsterdam will be able to benefit from the energy aid.
In a statement to the press on the subject, Municipal Committee Sofyan Mbarki said, “I was shocked by the price increases faced by some entrepreneurs. With this package, we support entrepreneurs and help them become more structurally sustainable for long-term benefits.” said.
“As a result of the work we have done in the city council, it has been accepted to provide energy aid not only to workplaces but also to places of worship in Amsterdam.” Says Koyuncu, “We will continue to work to support a wider segment of the population in response to increasing energy costs.” used expression.
Amsterdam residents and entrepreneurs will be able to apply for energy support from 1 February via this link.
Philips to lay off 6,000 jobs worldwide
Philips laid off 6,000 jobs this year to cut costs in October last year. The company laid off 4,000 jobs last year.
The Netherlands-based electronics company Philips announced that it will lay off 6,000 people worldwide in order to reduce costs due to the loss of the company.
In the statement made by Philips regarding its sales in 2022, it was stated that sales decreased and the company lost 1.6 billion.
6 THOUSAND PEOPLE WILL BE RELEASED
In the statement, it was stated that the company will lay off 6 thousand people worldwide in 2023.
It was recorded that 1100 of these were in the Dutch capital city of Amsterdam and Eindhoven. The company, which has about 80,000 employees worldwide, laid off 4,000 people in October last year, again in order to reduce costs.
MILLIONARY EURO LOSS
The CEO of the company, Executive Roy Jakobs, announced that the workforce needs to be reduced further. “2022 has been a very difficult year for Philips and our stakeholders, and we are urgently taking decisive action to improve our practices and accelerate our performance,” Jakobs said in a statement.
The Amsterdam-based company posted a net loss of €105 million ($114 million) for the fourth quarter of 2022 and €1.6 billion for the full last year.
Inflation on the rise in Spain
Inflation, which peaked in July in Spain, started to rise again in January after a 5-month decline.
Spain’s National Institute of Statistics (INE) announced January inflation as 5.8 percent. As the 20 cents per liter reduction in fuel prices brought by the left coalition government last year due to the energy crisis ended as of the beginning of the year, an increase in inflation was observed.
Inflation in Spain, which fell for five months after peaking at 10.8 percent in July 2022, was 5.7 percent in December.
INE announced that the slowdown in inflation was broken and it started to rise again with 5.8 percent in January.
VAT REMOVED ON BASIC NEEDS PRODUCTS
Excluding unprocessed food and energy products, inflation increased by half a percentage point to 7.5 percent, reaching its highest figure since December 1986.
In the country, within the scope of the government’s decisions against price increases, VAT was abolished on basic necessities as of January 1, and it was reduced by half (from 10 percent to 5 percent) in oil and pasta.
In the Netherlands, french fries prices rise
French fries prices have also increased in the Netherlands, with the price of potatoes doubling in a year and a half to around 30 euros per 100 kilos.
Bar fries, packet chips, and packets of diced potatoes for frozen fries are becoming an expensive snack.
Potato prices have changed significantly since last year, as rising energy costs automatically make french fries more expensive to produce. Two years ago, Dutch potatoes were 10-15 euros per 100 kg, this year farmers started getting around 30 euros per 100 kg. This striking increase has also worried the gastronomy industry.
A researcher named Bas Janssens at the University of Wageningen said last summer’s dryness also played a big part in this. “Especially in Belgium, France and Germany, this has led to unproductive harvests. However, the demand for Dutch potatoes from other countries increased extra, as the harvests in the Netherlands were better.”