Employers’ leader Bernard Wientjes told television programme Buitenhof on Sunday it is vital the Netherlands cuts its budget deficit in order to keep its Triple A rating status.
‘This is by far the most important thing for the financial markets,’ Wientjes said. ‘We need to take draconian measures.’
The coalition partners are currently negotiating a €9bn package of cuts to reduce the Netherlands’ budget deficit back to below the monetary union norm of 3%.
Nevertheless, ministers must take their time and make sensible decisions, the leader of the VNO-NCW told Buitenhof, adding that savings need to be made in three key areas: labour market, housing market and healthcare.
For example, unemployment benefits should be cut to 12 months, the redundancy laws should be reformed and pay rates frozen as much as possible, Wientjes said. In return, employers would be prepared to take on more people with a handicap, if they are supported by a special fund.
The government is slashing spending on special work schemes for the handicapped.