Finance ministry draws up ‘pick and mix’ list of government cut-backs


Government officials have drawn up a list of potential savings for the next government which could generate up to €50bn for the treasury, the Volkskrant says on Wednesday.

The list, which has been circulated in ‘strictest confidence’ to all the parties represented in parliament, contains a total of almost 400 money-saving proposals, the paper says. It has been leaked a copy of the list.

The Netherlands will elect a new government next year and the list includes a number of measures which parties could incorporate into their manifestos, including the financial impact.

The proposals include:

  • Scrapping the income tax break for freelancers, to generate €2.5bn
  • Introducing a €5 fee for visits to family doctors, to raise €575m
  • Reducing the development aid budget to emergency aid only, a PVV proposal, which would save €3.6bn
  • Scrapping plans by the current government to invest €350m extra in schools
  • Scrapping tax breaks to encourage employers to take on more older and handicapped workers
  • Cut spending on the police by €415m, in recognition of the fact the crime rate has fallen by 30%
  • Introduce road pricing – a tax per kilometre – to raise €5.3bn
  • Raise the valued added tax rate for theatre visits, concert tickets and museums from 6% to 21%, because these facilities are disproportionately used by the well-off
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