European commission criticism of the package of austerity measures the Dutch government plans to implement is a warning to the next government, finance minister Jan Kees de Jager said on Wednesday evening.
The Netherlands goes to the polls to elect a new parliament on September 12 and the five parties which worked out the new spending plans may not win a majority of the seats, putting implementation of the deal in doubt.
However, the commission’s position means the ‘new cabinet will have to take measures such as those outlined in the budget agreement,’ De Jager said.
The commission was clear that if the next government wants to deviate from the agreed plans, it will have to ensure the results are similar, the minister said. The Netherlands has to reduce its budget deficit to below 3% next year, and that will require spending cuts and new taxes and fees amounting to at least €12bn.
The commission on Wednesday published its recommendations for economic developments in all 27 EU members states.
Poor economic prospects and rising unemployment are creating ‘major challenges for the Netherlands’ in a ‘very complex political situation,’ the commission said in its report on Holland.
Brussels criticises Dutch austerity plan
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