Budget negotiations to continue on Tuesday

The coalition government’s negotiations with opposition parties on spending plans being held on Monday will continue on Tuesday.

The talks were called for Monday following two days of debate on the 2014 budget last week. Prime minister Mark Rutte said then he wanted to create ‘broader support for the spending plans’.

On Monday, finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem spent one-and-a-half hours laying out how much room for manoeuvre the opposition parties have.

He said many subjects are up for discussion: tax cuts, the social accord agreed with employers and unions, and spending power, according to press reports.

Seven opposition parties took part in the talks. The anti-immigration PVV and the Socialist Party were absent.

Prepared to talk

After the meeting, animal rights party PvdD leader Marianne Thieme said she would not be accepting Dijsselbloem’s invitation to more talks.

Christian Democrat MP Eddy van Hijum told journalists: ‘We did not get very far, but at least the government is prepared to talk.’ His party wants to see tax cuts in the budget and, together with the left-wing liberal D66, wants plans to reform redundancy law and cut unemployment benefit brought forward.

The government needs opposition support for its spending plans because it does not have a majority in the Senate.


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