VVD and PvdA reach a deal on amending next year’s budget
The right-wing VVD and Labour party, currently in talks on forming a new government, have reached agreement on how they would like to amend the outgoing cabinet’s spending plans.
VVD leader and prime minister Mark Rutte and Labour’s leader Diederik Samsom outlined their agreement at a news conference on Monday afternoon.
The outgoing government, which includes the VVD, published its 2013 spending plans last month, just six days after the general election.
As expected, Rutte and Samsom have agreed plans to charge higher fees to students who take too long to complete their degrees and to tax home-to-work travel expenses are to be scrapped.
In addition, plans to charge patients €7.50 a day for hospital stays will also be dropped and a tax-free savings scheme aimed at encouraging older workers to stay at work will not be implemented.
The shortfall in treasury income which will be made up by increasing the tax on insurance from 9.7% to 21%. This will raise €1.4bn.
The Labour party has also agreed the state pension age should be increased to 66 by 2018, earlier than originally planned.
MPs will debate the changes and the rest of the 2013 spending plans during two days of debate on Tuesday and Wednesday.
There is majority support for scrapping the commuter tax and the slow student fine in parliament.
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