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Dutch government to cover energy bills of struggling consumers -media

·1-min read
Dutch Prime Minister Rutte attends a joint news briefing with Ukraine's President Zelenskiy in Kyiv

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Dutch government is set to allocate at least 150 million euros ($151.9 million) to prevent people being cut off by energy suppliers in the coming months if they can't pay their bills, Dutch broadcaster RTL reported on Monday citing government sources.

The government would set up a fund to take over the bills of people who have had to switch to a new, expensive energy contract this year and can demonstrate that it's impossible for them to pay their bills.

The fund would be partly financed by energy suppliers, as it would also protect them from going bankrupt if their customers couldn't pay, RTL said.

Details of the plan are expected to be announced on Friday.

A government spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment.

Opposition parties have repeatedly criticized Prime Minister Mark Rutte for not offering enough direct support to people who are struggling with their energy bills.

Dutch media last week reported the government is set to announce it will spend around 16 billion euros in 2023 in an effort to help people pay soaring bills for energy and food.

Rutte last week declined to comment on details of that plan, which will be presented with the government's 2023 budget on Sept. 20.

($1 = 0.9874 euros)

(Reporting by Bart Meijer; Editing by Susan Fenton)