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Crisis averted? Five-party coalition agrees austerity package

Thursday 26 April 2012

After just two days of talks, agreement has been reached by a five-party coalition on how to slash the Dutch budget deficit to meet eurozone targets. The Netherlands must submit its austerity package to Brussels by April 30.

Finance minister Jan Kees de Jager has succeeded in making a deal to cut the deficit together with the D66 Liberal democrats, green party GroenLinks and small Christian party ChristenUnie. Last weekend, seven weeks of talks between the minority coalition and anti-immigration PVV collapsed when Geert Wilders’ party pulled out.

Prime minister Mark Rutte described Thursday's agreement as a 'fantastic result' and praised the five party leaders for showing responsibility. De Jager said the result shows the Netherlands is doing all it can to meet Brussels' demands.

Pensions

The plans include bringing forward the increase in the state pension age, a two percentage point rise in value-added tax (btw) and higher healthcare fees. An extra 'crisis tax' for people on high incomes will also be brought in, according to Nos television.

Parliament is due to debate the financial situation this evening.

The Labour party (PvdA) was sidelined in the high-pressure talks. The Financieele Dagblad says the party had offered to make a ‘serious attempt’ to reach a deal on reducing the budget deficit towards 3% but was ‘not invited’ to join in.

Fair shares

New leader Diederick Samsom said he could not support some of the measures. 'It is about the whole package. Will the pain be shared fairly?' he said. In particular he is unhappy at the 'unnecessary' decision to bring forward the increase in the state pension age.

The five-party coalition controls 77 of the 150 seats in parliament so is assured of majority support for the time being at least. However, the Netherlands will go to the polls in September to elect a new government.

© DutchNews.nl



 
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Readers' comments (6)

Does anyone else think it's a bad idea to screw pensioners whilst sending a lot of money to the EU & foreign aid?

It doesn't surprise me that the D66 support Austerity (screwing the poor), but the green party? This is why a lot of X left wing voters now vote PVV, at least the PVV aren't puppets for the Eurocrats, world bank and IMF

By Phil | April 27, 2012 2:52 AM


my opinion is that the PVV - no matter how many votes and support the party gets from here on - will never ever be allowed as a tolerated or any other partner in any future Dutch government coalitions. I think the party will disappear slowly after the coming election; much in the same way other super conservative parties here in the past have died out.

By Bill | April 27, 2012 7:46 AM


'fantastic result' said Rutte, a member of the 1%.
Austerity kills growth. I for one do not want to pay another cent for the disasters caused by banks and governments. The pain will not be shared fairly, no way.

By Al | April 27, 2012 8:30 AM


NL will keep its well deserved AAA credit rating. Impressive what MPs can do without Geert Wilders and his ilk.

By Puck | April 27, 2012 9:24 AM


@Bill- I really don't think the PVV are conservative, u call them super conservative but most of there policies r left wing socialist?

By Phil | April 27, 2012 4:36 PM


Bring back prosperity to lovely Holland with real money the strong Dutch Gulden .

By berzins | April 29, 2012 10:56 AM



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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