Dutch government guarantees add up to €465bn: audit office

The Dutch government has extended financial guarantees totalling €465bn to individuals, companies, banks and other eurozone countries, the national audit office said on Thursday.

The audit office says the total forms a risk for the government’s finances because it accounts for over 75% of the nation’s income. Five years ago, government guarantees were the equivalent of 42% of GDP.
Government protection schemes include the national mortgage guarantee, which covers people against the risk of being unable to meet their mortgages, the savings guarantee scheme, which covers up to €100,000 per saver, export credits for companies and eurozone guaranteed loans to the likes of Ireland, Portugal and Greece.
In addition, the government has to shoulder the implicit risk of anything major going wrong with the financial system, the audit office report says.
The audit office goes on to stress that parliament is not given ‘regular summaries into the development of the financial risks’ associated with the credit protection.
‘This means parliament is not properly aware of the size of the risks, if the risks are properly managed and how the cabinet is limiting the risks,’ the audit office said.