Central state subsidy office on its way

Top civil servants are working on a plan to create one single body responsible for all state subsidies, reports Thursday’s Volkskrant.

The proposal is part of an efficiency drive within the civil service and could cost hundreds of government workers their jobs, the paper says.
The state operates over 500 subsidy regulations worth a combined €17.4bn, according to the latest available figures (2003), the paper says.
Initially the plan would call for five ministries – economic affairs, social affairs, health, education and culture, and agriculture – to combine their subsidy units.
According to department officials, bringing all subsidy processes under one roof will standardise the system for grant applications and allocations. It will also make it easier to computerise the whole system, the paper says.
The initiative for streamlining subsidy pay-outs comes from Labour home affairs minister Guusje ter Horst and has not yet been presented to cabinet. In total she must cut 13,000 civil service jobs as part of the cabinet’s pledge to reduce red tape.

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