Talks on a budget agreement are on target, says minister

Talks between the minority cabinet and three other parties on a package of austerity measures to cut the Dutch budget deficit are proceeding smoothly, finance minister Jan Kees de Jager said on Thursday evening.

The minister expects the finalised plans to be passed to the government’s macro-economic think-tank CPB for analysis on Tuesday or Wednesday next week.
Today, the five parties’ financial spokesmen and women will look at the tax plans. It is already known that value-added tax will go up from 19% to 21% in October.
Health and social security reforms will be up for discussion next week.
The three minor parties stepped in to fill the breach after Geert Wilders pulled out of the negotiations. The Netherlands has to reduce the budget deficit to below 3% next year, in line with eurozone rules.

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