Budget cuts need not total €35bn

The cabinet does not have the ambition to cut spending by a structural €35bn because it is still unclear what the size of the budget deficit will be, finance minister Wouter Bos told MPs on Wednesday.

Bos was speaking at the parliamentary debate on the government’s 2010 spending plans. At the presentation of the budget two weeks ago, Bos announced that 20 committees are being set up, all charged with identifying potential cuts.
Even though the €35bn figure remained on the table, it will be next year before it becomes apparent how much of the budget shortfall is structural, Bos was quoted as saying by news agency ANP.
Nevertheless fundamental choices will have to be made, the finance minister told MPs.
During the budget presentation two weeks ago, the cabinet said it would not cut spending in 2010, but cuts of up to 20% would need to be made in subsequent years to get the budget deficit under control again.
After the committees report back, the government plans to hold a ‘broad debate’ on the issues raised next summer.

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