Government ministries have overspent their budgets by a combined €2.3bn and between €1.5bn and €2bn of that is due to healthcare, news agency ANP reports, quoting government sources.
If spending patterns do not change, the shortfall will reach up to €3.5bn by the end of this cabinet period in 2015. The figures are the latest treasury estimates and will be included in the finance minister’s traditional spring statement which will be published on June 1.
The cabinet is due to talk about the budget problems on Friday. Finance minister Jan Kees de Jager said in his weblog earlier this month that the shortfall had gone up to around €2bn.
The Volkskrant reports that ministers are already involved with heated talks with Geert Wilders’ PVV about new cuts in healthcare spending.
Sources told the paper health minister Edith Schippers expects the overspend to reach €2bn this year.
During negotiations with the PVV on an alliance to keep the minority government in power, the government agreed to recruit 12,000 new nurses. That is not likely to be achieved because of the financial problems and will put the anti-Islam party in a difficult position, the paper says.
Ministries which overspend their budgets must find cuts to balance their books themselves.
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