With a week to go, more budget details are leaked, opposition furious

A week ahead of the formal presentation to parliament, more details of the government’s 2015 spending plans have been leaked to the media.

RTL news reported on Tuesday evening that leaked documents in its possession show spending power will rise slightly for most people and that the government is planning hefty investments in national security.

Minimum income single parents with children will see their spending power go up by as much as 10%, RTL news said. But families with a single breadwinner and average income will be 2.75% worse off.

The broadcaster says ministers have worked closely with the three friendly opposition parties – D66, SGP and ChristenUnie – to prevent similar drops in spending power to the last few years.

Secret service

At the same time, spending on national security will be increased sharply. An extra €300m is being allocated to the defence ministry, cuts in spending on the secret service are being reversed and the public prosecution department will also have a bigger budget.

RTL confirmed earlier leaks that the lower tax band will be cut, costing the treasury €475m. RTL earlier reported that pensioners will pay higher taxes and health insurance premiums over the next few years as various top up benefits are scrapped or reduced.

The five opposition parties not involved in putting together the budget are furious about the latest leaks. They have called on ministers to publish all the documents now, to prevent parliament being further ‘insulted’.

Socialist MP Ronald van Raak accused the government coalition and ‘friendly’ opposition of selectively leaking information to the media. ‘This is contemptuous of the opposition, parliament and our democracy,’ broadcaster Nos quoted him as saying.

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