Cuts and tax rises have an adverse effect on the treasury

Cuts to healthcare benefits in 2012 did not give the government the savings it expected, the national auditor says in a report published on Friday.

The benefits bill shrank by just €98m, while the government expected to save €600m. The €502m shortfall added 0.08% to GDP, says the national auditor, quoted by news agency ANP.

Although the number of households claiming healthcare benefits of up to around €70 a month per person did fall, the average cost per household was up €8. The government was expecting a drop of €50.


The national auditor says the cabinet gave ‘limited’ information to parliament about the shortfall and must keep parliament fully informed about the effects of all the cuts.

This would also apply to tax rises such as the one introduced on January 1 on diesel. Based on a survey of its members, the transport and logistics organisation TLN says the rise in diesel tax is costing the government twice as much as the amount it expected to save.

Lorry drivers are filling up outside the Netherlands where tax is lower, says TLN. Because of this, the government will receive €180m less in diesel tax, instead of making an extra €90m, the Volkskrant reports.

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