New measures to stimulate Dutch economy

The cabinet will present new measures to shore up the economy on Friday, finance minister Wouter Bos told MPs on Tuesday evening.

The plans will cover the housing market, export credit insurance, hospitals and medium-sized companies, Bos said.
The measures will not be major but they will ‘get to the heart of the credit crisis’, Bos was reported as saying. ‘We are talking about guarantees and credit. Sometimes we can take over or cover risks,’ he said.
Later Bos told tv programme RTLZ that he did not rule out giving more support to the financial services sector. ‘We are not finished thinking about the future of the financial sector,’ Bos said. A second round of bail outs ‘could not be ruled out,’ Bos said.
The government has already nationalised Fortis and ABN Amro Nederland and given cash to ING, Aegon and SNS Reaal from a €20bn support fund.
Insiders told the Volkskrant that the cabinet plans to increase the guarantee ruling for small and medium-sized firms and to introduce a credit guarantee for hospitals so they can borrow money to expand.
Less than two months ago the cabinet presented what it said was a €6bn package of measures to stimulate the economy. These included an extension of the shorter working scheme wtv, extra tax deductions on investments and better loan guarantees for smaller firms.
On Tuesday, social affairs minister Piet Hein Donner refused to say if the shorter working scheme would be extended. The scheme allows companies to temporarily lay off staff or cut their hours without losing pay for up to 24 weeks.

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