Pessimism about the future of the Netherlands rises to record levels

Seven out of 10 people in the Netherlands are pessimistic about the future, the highest figure recorded since records began in 2008, according to the latest quarterly report on the state of the nation by the government’s socio-cultural advisory group SCP.

At the same time, half the population now thinks the economy will not get any worse, up from just 30% in the first quarter of this year. And just four out of 10 think politicians are doing a good enough job.
The research was carried out in July and is based on the responses of nearly 1,200 people.
SCP researcher Paul Dekker told Nos television the low confidence is due to the collapse of the cabinet in April. ‘People felt that nothing was being done to solve the economic crisis. We were about to have the fifth election in 10 years and that is not good for public confidence.’
Now the elections have been held and Labour and VVD are in talks on forming a new government, ‘I expect confidence in politicians to grow,’ Dekker said.
The new report also shows healthcare and care of the elderly have overtaken crime and immigration as ‘national problems’.
Spending cuts
Almost two-thirds of the people questioned said the new cabinet should make cuts to get the government’s finances under control. At the same time, people have little idea about how much money is spent on what.
For example, most people think education and healthcare have been the subject of heavy cuts in the past, which is not the case.
And many people think slashing spending on development aid and culture – which account for just a small part of government spending – will do the trick. Some even suggest cutting €20bn from the aid and arts budgets – when total spending is only around €7bn, the Volkskrant points out.
Are you pessimistic or optimistic? Take part in our new poll and have your say using the comment box below.

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