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In addition to assisting the fledgling trade union unemployment insurance schemes with state funds, he established a Royal National Relief Committee (Koninklijk Nationaal Steuncomite, KNSC).
As Figure 1 shows, amongst the many tasks of the KNSC were the distribution of food, clothing and shoes, placing of orders with industry to boost employment, the prevention of eviction due to rent arrears, unemployment relief for workers who did not have insurance or were no longer entitled to benefits, and the general support of the 350 local relief committees.
KNSC leadership comprised an executive committee which included representatives from Catholic, Protestant, liberal and social-democratic groups.
In order to discourage workers from becoming dependent on welfare, the KNSC became involved in the provision of relief works and was strongly in favour of the local relief committees providing work rather than cash handouts.
In general, the trade unions and workers' associations shared the KNSC's view that jobless workers should not be referred to poor relief, but the local Poor Councils (Armenraden) had quite a different stance.
In addition to the unemployed, the KNSC supported troops and their families during the war and after demobilisation.
(43) A wide variety of public and private organisations were involved in the provision of relief and assistance finding work, including the administrative departments of the armed services, the KNSC, the NVSM, labour exchange agencies, and municipalities.
The government had expected no specific problems given the involvement of the KNSC and the NVSM in cooperation with the Ministry of War and the Unemployment Insurance and Labour Exchange Office.
The KNSC was hopeful that former employers would implement the provision of wachtgeld for their returning workers, while it would supplement the unemployment benefits for those who were entitled to an allowance through membership of a trade union.
(54) As previously stated, the KNSC opposed any welfare which was not strictly based on need.
The KNSC was designed to be an expression of the communal spirit of the Dutch population in times of war, but towards the end of the war it had virtually become a government-funded organisation.
The re-elected council chairman will also lead federation bosses in reviewing KNSC's constitution as they look to patch up the existing loopholes.
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