The government survived a no-confidence motion at the end of the two-day debate on its 2010 spending plans on Thursday night.
The Socialist Party, Liberals (VVD) and anti-immigration PVV all voted in favour of the motion, saying they were not satisifed at the way prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende had handled questions on how the government is planning to tackle the economic crisis.
On Tuesday, 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. It is setting up 20 committees to look at a fundamental overhaul of government spending and hopes to hold a ‘broad debate’ on the issues raised next summer.
During the two-day debate, MPs traditionally come up with their own suggestions for new policy or changes in spending. Balkenende rejected calls for a 60% top tax rate and cuts in spending on the royal family.
But he did pledge to introduce legislation which would ban marriage between cousins and make it more difficult for people to ‘import’ wives and husbands from abroad.
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