With just four days to go before the government presents its 2016 spending strategy, broadcaster RTL news has published more leaks about what ministers are planning.
RTL says the theme of the budget will focus on the continuing need for sobriety, even though the Netherlands is back up with the leading European economies. The broadcaster bases its claims on a strategy document written by communications experts at the state information service RVD.
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.
Prime minister Mark Rutte said at his weekly news conference on Friday that he is ‘incredibly irritated’ by the leaks. Asked about the theme ‘sobriety’, he said this is nothing new.
‘The economy is improving. I am happy that we are in the front seats of the train, but the train is travelling through an unsettled landscape,’ the prime minister said.
MPs were given copies of Tuesday’s budget presentations on a memory stick on Friday afternoon and have been sworn to secrecy until Tuesday.
The plans already in the public arena include:
- €5bn reduction in income tax by lowering the tax rate in the second and third bands
- €405m extra for the defence ministry
- €210 to improve the quality of life in nursing homes
- €60m to ensure all toddlers go to pre-school daycare
- €75m to extend paid paternity leave from two to five days
- €650m for refugees in the Netherlands and in conflict zones
- People with few savings will pay less asset tax, those with lots of capital will pay more
- More spending on childcare benefits
- The tax on mineral water and fruit juice will go up
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