Budget deficit will hit 3.6% this year, says finance minister

The budget deficit will probably reach 3.6% of gross domestic product this year, not 4% as estimated earlier, finance minister Jan Kees de Jager says in his spring financial statement.

The national debt will fall to 64% of GDP, rather than 66%, partly due to repayment of state support by banks ING and Aegon which were bailed out during the financial crisis.
Nevertheless, several areas of government policy have overspent their budgets, De Jager said, and he warned against over-optimism on the economy.


There are still many uncertainties, in particular the euro crisis and fragile recovery, the Financieele Dagblad quoted De Jager as saying.
Spending on healthcare is €1.1bn over budget, while incapacity and other benefits have eaten up €300m more than agreed. The childcare overspend rose by €200m.
Health minister Edith Schippers would not comment on the measures she would take to get spending under control but did say they would be painful, Nos television said.

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