Unions, opposition and health sector criticise austerity package

The package of austerity measures worked out by the government with the help of three smaller parties will hit working people hard, Agnes Jongerius, leader of the FNV trade union federation, said on Thursday.

The five parties have focused blindly on short-term cuts and have done little to stimulate economic growth, Jongerius said.
‘Spending power will be drastically reduced by a combination of measures: higher healthcare fees, the increase in value-added tax, the end of tax breaks on travelling to work and the pay freeze for civil servants,’ she is quoted as saying in the Volkskrant.
Missed opportunity
The chairman of the national health council, one of the government’s most important advisory bodies, also criticised the healthcare changes as a ‘missed opportunity’. Rien Meijerink told Nos television increasing the healthcare own risk charge to €350 ‘is the easiest way to bring in cash’.
‘This way we will continue to spend 12% of our gross national income on healthcare,’ he said.
The VNO-NCW employers organisation said it would not comment on the measures until their effect on the economy had been calculated by the macro-economic forecasting agency CPB.
Opposition MPs also voiced their opposition to the plans. Labour leader Diederick Samsom,who had come under fire for not joining the new coalition, said the agreement is ‘worse than we thought’.
The measures will prolong the recession, Samsom is quoted as saying.

Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation