Withdrawing from JSF project will cost the Netherlands billions
Wednesday 24 October 2012
If the Netherlands withdraws from the JSF jet fighter project, it will cost the country at least €405m, the national auditor said in a report on Wednesday.
The short-term gain of pulling out of the project will be €265m, but the total cost remains unknown, the audit office said.
In July, a majority of MPs voted in favour of pulling out of the jet fighter project. The audit office said this will have a ‘far-reaching impact’ on the armed forces because it will have to continue using the aging F-16 jets.
Labour leader Diederik Samsom said the report is a ‘weighty’ one and that its contents will play a role in the ongoing cabinet formation process. Labour and the VVD are currently in talks on forming a new administration.
The VVD wants to keep the JSF while Labour is keen on pulling out.
A second report on Wednesday said Dutch companies which are part of the project will generate turnover of up to €38bn from their involvement. The report was carried out by the SEO research group on behalf of the economic affairs ministry.
Economic affairs minister Maxime Verhagen said Dutch firms will benefit from the JSF. ‘The project is delivering jobs for people who would otherwise be unemployed,’ he is quoted as saying.