Cabinet tax claim false, ministry figures show

The cabinet’s claim that it has reduced the tax burden for companies and families is wrong. In fact, the opposite is true, says the Nederlands Dagblad on its front page today.

The paper has used the freedom of information act to get hold of figures from the economic affairs ministry which show companies paid €200 mln more taxes over the past four years (- and that includes the likely effect of the corporate tax cuts announced for January 2007). Familes are worse of by a total €1.3 bn, the report shows. The document was drawn up for economic affairs minister Joop Wijn when he took office in July.
The cabinet has consistently claimed that the tax burden has fallen over the last few years and the senior coalition Christian Democrat party has made this a central theme in their election campaign. Last week, finance minister Gerrit Zalm said tax and administrative burdens on firms had been cut by 25%. And in last month’s budget, he announced a further cut in the corporate tax rate from 29.6% to 25.5%.
Employers organisation VNO-NCW told the Nederlands Dagblad that it was shocked by the figures. It blamed increases in employer contributions to health insurance premiums for the rise. MP Ferd Crone of the opposition Labour (PvdA) party told BNR Nieuwsradio that the CDA/VVD cabinet had been ‘very selective’ with its figures.

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