Experts warn budget cuts may paralyse the security service

A number of experts on Wednesday warned MPs that planned cuts to spending on the Dutch security services could end up paralysing the AIVD.

Ministers are cutting €70m from the security service budget, reducing the workforce from 1,500 to 1,300 people.

But experts told a parliamentary committee the cuts are too extensive and almost half the agency’s key tasks will be so reduced in scope as to be useless, Nos television reported.

Rob de Wijk, director of The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, said: ‘You can make cuts of 10% but after that you begin cutting into the bone and amputating limbs.’

The Netherlands will also be in a difficult position if it is no longer able to exchange information with security services in other countries, Ko Colijn of the Clingendael institute said. ‘You can’t just ask for your allies’ help,’ Colijn pointed out.

Last month, home affairs minister Ronald Plasterk assured MPs the cuts are ‘responsible’.

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