Labour to keep middle-incomes sweet

The opposition Labour (PvdA) party has set aside an extra €500 mln in its election manifesto to boost the fortunes of people on average incomes, reports today’s Financieele Dagblad.

The move follows criticism from the ruling Christian Democrats and Liberals (VVD) who said people on middle incomes would not benefit if Labour is voted into power in the elections next month. Labour has now decided to raise the income threshold for an extra €500 tax break (known as the work bonus) from €45,000 to €52,000 a year. Labour finance spokesman Ferd Crone said he accepts comments by the government’s advisory body CPB which said the lower threshold would discourage people from accepting promotion. ‘A work bonus for those earning up to €52,000 stimulates work and is better for consumers’ buying power,’ Crone told the paper.
Labour’s manifesto budget will now result in a balance ‘just over the zero’. The €300 mln it initially planned to hold in reserve will now be spent on increasing housing benefit, extra funding for care homes and making secondary school text books free.

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