ChristenUnie says austerity package should be halved in size

Minor Christian party ChristenUnie has set out its demands for supporting the cabinet in the upper house of parliament, where the government does not have a majority.

The party wants the cabinet’s €6bn austerity package to be halved in size and ministers to give priority to creating jobs and ensuring families are not unduly hit by tax increases.

The government’s plans will ‘deepen the crisis, cost jobs and hinder sustainable economic growth,’ party leader Arie Slob said. Slob also called on the cabinet to ensure it has broad support for its 2014 budget, rather than rely on one or two parties to win approval for different measures.


The biggest opposition parties – the Christian Democrats and the D66 Liberals – have already set out their demands ahead of tomorrow’s debate on the government’s 2014 spending plans.

The VVD-Labour coalition is eight seats short of a majority in the upper house of parliament and faces a difficult task to win approval for its €6bn austerity package.

Pressure is mounting on the government to make changes to the social accord signed earlier this year between ministers, unions and employers. The deal includes measures to amend redundancy law and cut jobless benefits but not until 2016, when economic recovery is expected.

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