Majority of Dutch suffering and blame government for crisis: poll

Two-thirds of the Dutch are feeling the effects of the economic crisis and 80% blame government policy for the situation, a poll conducted on the eve of the budget presentation on Tuesday shows.

The survey, conducted by Ipsos on behalf of public broadcaster Nos, shows 66% of people are now making savings, with nearly the same number saying they will continue to do so next year.

Most savings are being made on food, clothes and holidays. Very few people are cutting back on running their cars, sport or mobile telephones.

Around half of those questioned say they can still manage on their income, 40% that they can just about manage and 4% that they cannot manage, the poll shows.

The biggest fear is that they will lose their job. Confidence in the economy will only return when unemployment starts to fall, respondents told Ipsos. They also want to see a lightening of the tax burden and a recovery in the housing market as signs of an improving economy.

Blame

The blame for the economic crisis lies with government policy, according to 80% of those questioned in the poll.

Broken down by party, 89% of the coalition Labour voters and 70% of liberal VVD voters blame the government. Only Socialist Party and anti-Islam PVV voters are more pessimistic about government policy, with 94% blaming the government.

Of those questioned, 17% think the government can solve the crisis, and 13% think the European Union will find a solution.

The poll also shows that the leaders of the coalition parties are not trusted when they say the economy is improving. Prime minister and VVD leader Mark Rutte is believed by 9%, while Labour leader Diederik Samsom is believed by just 2%.


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