Still a long way to go before new budget pact is finalised: NRC

The five parties which agreed emergency austerity measures to reduce the Netherlands budget deficit to eurozone limits are still a long way from finalising the details, the NRC reported on Tuesday.

The five parties – the coalition cabinet of VVD and CDA plus GroenLinks, D66 and ChristenUnie – are due to hold talks with finance minister Jan Kees de Jager on Wednesday.
In particular, there are wide differences on how to achieve the planned €1.6bn in savings on healthcare spending, the paper said. GroenLinks, for example, wants to tackle the high salaries earned by medical specialists while ChristenUnie wants to remove ivf and egg donation treatment from the basic insurance package, the paper said.
Extra spending
The parties are also divided over how to spend the extra €200m set aside for spending on nature.
Sources told the NRC it will be weeks before the agreement has been finalised. ‘Every party has its priorities,’ said GroenLinks MP Bruno Braakhuis.
The agreement was reached two days after the collapse of the alliance with the anti-Islam PVV. Last week, the macro-economic forecasting CPB said the financial impact of the new spending plans is impossible to calculate because the measures are too vague.
The agreement includes savings and reforms totalling €12bn.

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