In general, I am against any kind of free language lessons for immigrants. The country accepts a person, allows a new start, offers new opportunities. Isn't that enough?
it's actually not charity: we had quite some difficulties (and still have!) with ppl coming to live in the Netherlands who did not want to integrate -such a Dutch tradition- at all or after being 30 years in our country, still not were able to speak a single word of Dutch. This lead to growing irritation and friction and the situation got so bad that the government decided to try and do something about it. For non-EU ppl who live longer than 5 years (or at least longer than a year, I thought it was) the course is mandatory. If you're not willing to participate, you will kindly be asked to leave. for fellow EU citizens it's fully voluntarily as they are supposed to have the same rights as a Dutchman. Unfortunately the attendency is very well below the expectations, so probably they will come up with a new set of rules. By the way, they will not only learn the Dutch language, also the Dutch history, customs, laws and so on. It's basically a package that will make you ready for the Dutch society, which is good, I think, as it can clear a lot of misunderstandings and the like.