The Hague prepares for Budget Day

Tens of thousands of people will line the streets of The Hague on Tuesday afternoon to watch queen Beatrix and the rest of the royal family head to parliament for the formal presentation of the government’s budget plans for next year.

The royal procession, complete with golden coach, horses and guards in full ceremonial dress, is the highlight of Prinsjesdag, the name given to the third Tuesday in September – the official opening of the political year.
The queen will give her traditional speech outlining the government’s priorities for the coming year to MPs and officials in just after 3pm. The event has become famous for the hats worn by female MPs, which tend to dominate television coverage.
Later, finance minister Wouter Bos will formally present the government’s 2009 spending plans to parliament. Much of the budget – such as cuts in unemployment benefit premiums– have already been announced. will bring you full coverage of the budget after 5pm.

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