Talks on 2014 budget continue, opposition demands more clarity

Ministers will continue talks with three opposition parties on Friday afternoon in an effort to find majority support for their €6bn austerity package in the senate.

The D66 Liberal democrats and two minor Christian parties ChristenUnie and the SGP control eight seats in the 75-seat upper house, enough to give the coalition a narrow majority of one.

‘We have made progress,’ finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem told reporters in the early hours of Friday morning. ‘People are tired but not irritated. But we have to keep going because we need to get the budget finalised.’


Meanwhile, there is more clarity about changes to the government’s plans currently being considered, Nos television said.

For example, it is now likely that plans to make it easier for companies to sack staff and introducing a quota for disabled workers will be brought forward.

The tax on energy efficient cars and on mains water is also likely to go up. This is to offset changes in the cabinet’s tax plans which were aimed at reducing the income gap.  More money will also be targeted at education and families, Nos said.

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