Cabinet agrees 2013 spending plans, budget deficit below 3%

The cabinet has 99% finalised its 2013 spending plans and will meet European financial targets, caretaker finance minister Jan Kees de Jager said on Wednesday.


The outgoing government has to press ahead with setting ministry budgets for next year because it is likely to take months before a new government is formed following the September 12 general election.
The 2013 budget will be formally presented to parliament on September 18, just eight days after the general election. However, it will be up to the new batch of MPs to vote on the policies it contains and there is no guarantee the more controversial plans will go ahead.
Eurozone
As the budget now stands, the government’s deficit will drop ‘well below’ the eurozone limit of 3%, De Jager said after the cabinet meeting, but did not give an exact forecast.
The government’s macro-economic forecasting agency CPB said earlier that if the plans worked out by five parties in an austerity budget agreement are implemented, the deficit will drop to 3%.
De Jager said the official budget plans are based on that spring agreement but did not go into further details. The agreement was rushed through in a few days in order to meet a Brussels deadline.
Political pundits say a number of measures agreed by the five parties, such as a tax on travelling expenses and changes to the tax break on mortgages, are unlikely to come into effect in their present form.
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