The departing head of the government’s macro-economic forecasting agency CPB considers it ‘unlikely’ the economy will pick up enough again to make further austerity measures unnecessary.
However, in a string of farewell interviews in the Dutch media, Coen Teulings said it would be unwise to make further cuts at the moment.
Last week, the government agreed to postpone a €4.3bn package of cuts until the autumn at least, in the hope that growth picks up.
But if the economy does not grow 1% more than predicted by the CPB in March, the cuts will be back on the table. This is in order to ensure the budget deficit falls below the eurozone-demanded 3%.
‘I think that at the moment it would not be sensible for the Netherlands to strictly adhere to 3% in 2014,’ Teulings told the Volkskrant. ‘At the same time, we have obligations under EU treaties.’
Teulings also urged the government to streamline and improve its communication about policy, which, he said, will also boost consumer confidence.
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