Despite spending cuts of €18bn, the state deficit is set to reach 1.8% by 2015, twice the cabinet’s June estimates, according to leaked figures on the Dutch economy.
Next year, the deficit will hit 2.9%, just under the 3% limit set by the European Union for eurozone countries. This, too, is far higher than earlier estimates.
The figures are contained in the annual macro-economic report by the government’s CPB economic planning bureau which has been leaked to RTL television news. The report was due to be published to coincide with next Tuesday’s budget presentation.
The report also states the economy will grow by just 1% next year, almost half the June estimate of 1.75%.
Inflation is set to fall to 2% but spending power will be cut across the board. Unemployment will rise slightly to 4.25%.
‘This means the cabinet will have to take steps and come down hard. The total picture is not good,’ RTL commentator Frits Wester said.