MPs want clarification on budget cuts

Opposition parties have asked the cabinet for clarification on exactly how much will have to be cut in the next spending round.

The question came during the parliamentary debate on Wednesday on how to achieve the 3% deficit demanded by EU budget commissioner Olli Rehn.

According to Rehn, the Netherlands will have to find €6bn extra in spending cuts if the country is to get its deficit down to the EU maximum. This has been accepted by prime minister Mark Rutte and finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem.

Enough?

‘Does the cabinet know that €6bn will be enough?’ asked D66 leader Alexander Pechtold. ‘Has that been agreed?’

Christian Democrat leader Sybrand Buma accused the government of making the extra savings just for Brussels. ‘Where is the prime minister who said we will not just save for Brussels?’ he asked, referring to comments made earlier this month by Rutte.

Socialist party leader Emile Roemer said that Olli Rehn is now ‘in charge of our country’.

Opposition MPs are also concerned about the social agreement reached with unions and industry leaders earlier this year. They see this unravelling following criticism from the unions.

The debate continues.