It is terribly kind of the Dutch taxpayer to keep paying towards the cost of the queen Beatrix’ private yacht, De Groene Draeck (green dragon). Defence minister Eimert van Middelkoop told MPs yesterday that his ministry would continue footing the bill for the boat – put at around €112,000 a year.
The Groene Draeck is a traditional wooden sailing vessel – hardly much use at times of war, but there you go. Van Middelkoop told MPs that the nation gave the boat to Beatrix on her 18th birthday and the nation will, therefore, continue to pay for it.
So, at a time when the government wants us to tighten our belts, we are paying €112,000 to maintain a pleasure yacht.
The government is planning to cut back on extras to help the elderly live at home and has a whole host of tax increases in the pipeline to help it make ends meet. All but those on the lowest incomes will have less to spend next year.
The defence ministry will escape any more cuts in the budget – but, don’t forget, in July Middelkoop announced plans to scrap a number of tanks and fighter jets because of cash shortages.
Still, while Auntie Betty misses her occasional trip to the cinema and Dutch soldiers in Afghanistan miss essential equipment you can be proud to know that your tax money is keeping one of the richest families in the world afloat.
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