More cuts on the cards, as government ponders €4bn package
Wednesday 27 February 2013
The government is poised to take extra measures to raise a further €3.5bn to €4bn for the treasury next year, according to media reports on Wednesday.
RTL news says sources confirm a new package of tax increases and other measures are on the cards to keep the Dutch budget deficit within eurozone limits.
Other sources say finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem will talk with all parliamentary party leaders on Wednesday in an effort to win wide support for the expected extra cuts.
On Thursday, the government's macro-economic think-tank CPB will publish its new forecasts, which are expected to show a further rise in the budget deficit. Earlier this week, the European Commission said the Dutch deficit will reach 3.6% next year, well above the eurozone 3% maximum.
However, the leaders of the parliamentary parties of both the VVD and Labour oppose any further cuts this year.
Labour leader Diederik Samsom is quoted by news agency ANP as saying the current recession can be considered one of the 'exceptional circumstances' which allow member states to break the budget deficit rule.
And VVD's parliamentary chief Halbe Zijlstra told the Volkskrant on Wednesday he did not favour extra measures to reduce the deficit. 'You cannot solve this by increasing the burden of taxes,' he said.