Few major new policy measures were announced by ministers on Tuesday and much of the key economic information had already been leaked. Here is a summary of the main points:
Taxes and income
- Spending power will rise by an average 0.5%.
- Single parents will see a 10% increase in spending power, single breadwinner families on average incomes a 3% drop.
- Fewer tax breaks for the elderly. Four in 10 pensioners will be worse off.
- Economic growth to reach 1.25%.
- Budget deficit to hit 2.2%, well below the 3% eurozone limit.
- Unemployment to drop from 650,000 to 605,000.
- The lowest tax band (up to €16,645) will be cut by 0.25% to 36.5%, although this is effectively a 0.5% increase.
Health and benefits
- Healthcare own risk to rise from €360 to €375.
- Healthcare insurance will rise by an estimated €10 a month.
- Healthcare benefits for those on very low incomes will rise.
- Income-dependent health insurance premium for pensioners and self-employed to rise.
- Parents who lose their jobs will keep childcare benefits for six not three months.
Security and foreign policy
- Extra spending on defence: €300m to 2018.
- Extra spending on emergency aid: €570m.
- Extra spending on refugees: €375m.
- Extra spending on AIVD security service: €25m per year.
- Foreign affairs ministry to ‘maintain or strengthen’ embassies in the Middle East and unstable regions close to Europe.
- 6% VAT tariff on home repairs extended to July 2015.
- The points system for determining social housing rents will be revised to take property values more into account.
- People who move house but can’t sell their first home can deduct the cost of both mortgages from tax for three, rather than two, years.
- €200m to stimulate innovation.
- Tax relief on environment-friendly cars to be cut.
- Petrol and diesel prices to rise in line with inflation.
- €20m for the Dutch film industry to strengthen its international position.
- Civil service and public sector salaries to rise in line with market developments after a multi-year pay freeze.
- King Willem-Alexander to get a €6,000 pay rise, taking his income to €823,000, queen Máxima to get an extra €2,000.
- Almost €50m to be spent on renovating royal palaces.
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