Holland’s biggest paper, the Telegraaf headlines its front page budget story with the word inleveren (hand back). ‘It’s a bitter pill but luckily we are thrifty,’ one couple with a baby tells the paper.
‘There is nothing in it for entrepreneurs,’ says another man. The Volkskrant’s headlines read ‘ambitions temper spending power’ and ‘[prime minister] Balkenende to play Robin Hood’.
Trouw points out that political hot potatoes such as mortgage tax relief and the state pension remain untouched. The budget of finance minister Wouter Bos is tough but will be the first to deliver a permanent surplus since 1954 and will boost job market participation, the paper says.
‘Bon viveurs hit hardest,’ says the AD. ‘Smoking, drinking, flying, using a company car or a SUV – it’s all becoming more expensive.’
Bos is proud, Balkenende is defensive is Financieele Dagblad’s front page comment.
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