Voters would least like ministers to cut spending on education or to increase the own risk element in healthcare insurance in order to get the government finances back under control, according to a new poll by Maurice de Hond.
Fewest people (9%) would object to a cut in politicians’ salaries by 5%. Some 12% of people would object if €200m is cut from spending on public broadcasters and a similar proportion do not consider it a problem if the government abandons plans to buy the joint strike fighter jet, the poll shows.
A €1bn cut in the development aid budget, which is rumoured to already have been agreed, is opposed by 23% of those polled.
The minority cabinet and alliance partner – the anti-immigration PVV – are currently in talks on reducing the Dutch budget deficit to below 3%, in line with eurozone rules. The PVV has said it will not agree to economic reforms without cuts in aid spending.
On Friday, senior Christian Democratic party members warned the government it will damage the reputation of the Netherlands abroad if rumours of the €1bn cut in the aid budget are true.
The letter says a large part of the Netherlands’ important international position is due to to its image as an open and involved country, and much of that is due to the aid budget.
The Telegraaf says the results of the poll show the ruling alliance will face strong opposition to some of the measures it is likely to take in order to cut spending by at least €9bn in 2013. In particular, insiders expect the alliance to agree to put up the own risk element in healthcare, cut mortgage tax relief and increase value-added tax.
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