Finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem has rejected calls to be more flexible about new mortgage rules which come into effect on January 1.
The upper house of parliament (senate) had called on the minister to make changes, including removing the requirement that mortgages be paid off completely within 30 years to qualify for tax relief.
But Dijsselbloem says he is worried Brussels will object. ‘I can assure you if the budget committee hear about it, it will say ‘the Netherlands is again delaying taking action on its [budget] inbalance,’ Dijsselbloem told the Volkskrant.
Nevertheless, the European demand that the budget deficit not exceed 3% is ‘not set in stone,’ Dijsselbloem told the paper.
‘Economic conditions have worsened throughout the entire eurozone. That may change the discussion,’ he said. ‘But it would not be sensible politically to go into that now.’
New forecasts from the Dutch central bank and government’s macro-economic planning office CPB both suggest the budget deficit will exceed 3% next year.
From January 1, tax relief will be limited to repayment mortgages only. This means interest-only mortgages will no longer qualify for tax relief. Existing mortgages are not affected.
In addition, the interest on mortgage loans will remain deductible for a maximum 30 years.
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