Budget: restore spending power, say MPs

The coalition parties will present a significant package of changes to the proposed budget for next year on Thursday during the second day of debate on the proposals announced by the government earlier this week.

According to ANP news service, the Christian Democrats (CDA), Labour and ChristenUnie parliamentary parties will make the following demands:
* Free textbooks throughout children’s secondary education from 2008 (€130m)
* No cuts in child benefit payments in 2010 (€100m)
* An extra €50m for the defence department in the coming two years
* An extra €40m to alleviate child poverty ovwe the next two years
* Scrapping the proposed €0.01 tax increase for diesel
* More money for healthcare
* An extra €30m for fighting crime
* Another €20m for the fisheries sector
* An additional €20m for regional development
The coalition parties will call for the extra spending to be paid for from a reserve fund of €250m and by bringing the proposed extra tax on gambling forward by a year which will generate another €200m, says ANP.
The coalition parties, pushed by Labour MPs, also want to find a way to repair some of the loss of spending power those on middle incomes will suffer next year as a result of budget proposals.

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