Two days of debate on the government’s 2015 spending plans resulted in very few changes, even though this is traditionally a time when opposition parties can make their presence felt.
Among the few concessions agreed by the government are an extra €40m for home helps and €1.5m for security at Jewish institutions. MPs have also agreed there should be more money for the Dutch diplomatic service.
One reason for the smooth passage of the budget is that the government made an agreement with three parties to win their support prior to Tuesday’s presentation.
Ministers have also agreed to see if more money can be earmarked for the armed forces and security services at the request of right-wing parties. The threats posed to the Netherlands by fighting and unrest in other parts of the world were a central theme in the spending plans.
In addition, prime minister Mark Rutte pledged that the cabinet’s tax reform plans will be thrashed out by next summer.
Over the next few weeks, MPs will debate the various ministerial budgets and individual ministry spending plans.
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