Cabinet resists pressure to relax next year’s spending cuts

The government has no intention of relaxing its austerity plan to bring the budget deficit back to below 3% next year, deputy prime minister Lodewijk Asscher said on Tuesday.

The deficit should have been cut back to 3%, in line with eurozone rules, this year, but the European Commission has given the Netherlands more leeway.

But that will not be the case next year, Asscher is quoted as saying by news agency ANP.

Future generations

MPs from the ruling VVD have also called on ministers to stick to their guns. ‘We do not want to leave our debts to future generations,’ VVD parliamentary party leader Halbe Zijlstra said.

There is mounting pressure on the government not to make extra spending cuts next year in an effort to cut the deficit, because of the likely knock-on effect on the economy.

A number of elder VVD statesman said at the weekend they did not consider the 3% target essential and senior economists have also warned about the potential impact on consumer and business confidence.

The government is planning an additional austerity package to raise €4.3bn to reach the 2014 target.

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