Sometimes you just have to ask if the government really does want to take any steps to try to reduce the effect of the financial crisis on the Dutch economy.

Ministers and leaders of the three coalition parties have been talking for 10 days now but so far there seems to be little progress.
The newspapers have done their best to find a breakthrough, but all we know is that they are still talking about raising the retirement age, cutting mortgage tax relief and reducing the tax break on non-working partners.
These are all measures which the government can take to pay for any economy-boosting measures, but they are not going to keep the wheels of industry turning on their own. In fact, we have heard very little about what the government will actually do to boost economic growth, employment levels and exports – the main motor behind the Dutch economy to date.
The devil may be in the details but we appear to have forgotten the bigger picture. Raising the retirement age will not boost exports, nor will cutting mortgage tax relief for the very rich.
The prime minister is now in Brussels for a council of ministers meeting. Perhaps he can get some extra input from his EU colleagues. Because the way things are going, the crisis will be over before we’ve decided anything.

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