Fundamentalist Christians complicate search for more cuts

The minority cabinet’s hunt for more spending cuts has been complicated by the fundamentalist Christian SGP, which will not accept any more reductions in spending on aid, the Volkskrant reports on Friday.

This means the minority cabinet’s alliance partners have opposite views on development aid, the paper points out. The government needs SGP support to get legislation through the upper house of parliament.
However, PVV leader Geert Wilders, who has a formal alliance with the minority government in both houses, has said he will not support economic reforms without development aid being slashed.
SGP leader Kees van der Staaij said development aid had already been reduced in the previous round of cuts. In addition, it has been agreed that the aid budget should equal 0.7% of GDP, so it automatically shrinks as GDP goes down. ‘That is why we say, it has been enough already,’ Van der Staaij told Nos television.
The VVD, Christian Democrats and PVV will start at least three weeks of talks on new spending cuts on March 1.

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