Few surprises expected as government prepares to publish 2016 spending plans

koffertje Dutch budgetThe government will publish its 2016 spending plans on Tuesday afternoon, against the backdrop of a recovering economy. However, many of the ministers’ plans have been leaked, as they are every year, and commentators expect few surprises.

This year, even the communications strategy was leaked to RTL news. The broadcaster said the budget will focus on the continuing need for sobriety, even though the Netherlands is back up with the leading European economies.

In addition, the strategy document makes it clear that while four out of five households will be better off next year, 20% will not be able to benefit from economic growth.

Tuesday’s events kick off with the king and queen arriving at the parliamentary complex in The Hague in the ‘golden coach’. At around 13.15, king Willem-Alexander will deliver his second speech from the throne to members of both houses of parliament in the Ridderszaal.

After this, at around 15.00, finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem will present the budget formally to parliament. However, MPs were given all the relevant documents last week, so are unlikely to be surprised.

According to the NRC, Dijsselbloem’s forward to the budget documents states that ‘the Dutch economy is performing better than expected but not well enough.’

People are spending more and this, the minister says, ‘gives reason for optimism’.

MPs will hold a general debate on the cabinet’s plans on Wednesday and Thursday.

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