St Nicholas has paid a visit to the Dutch government: finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem has announced an extra €4.3billion in the national coffers thanks to higher-than-predicted corporation tax, income tax and VAT payments.
The NOS reports on Friday afternoon that businesses and individuals have handed over more tax than expected, while the sale of 65 million shares in ABN Amro has also raised €1.3 billion.
There will be no windfall through tax breaks, though: the revenue largely means the Dutch deficit is decreasing faster than expected. The budget predicted it would be 1.1% but it is currently 0.4%. Dijsselbloem said: ‘That means we have some buffers in case the economy takes a turn for the worse.’
Prime minister Mark Rutte said cancelling the Netherlands’ €450 billion debt is the priority. ‘It’s not the case that a fleet laden with gold bullion has sailed back in,’ he said. ‘The national debt must be paid back entirely by future generations.’
The government’s autumn statement also says that fewer asylum seekers have entered the country – one of the key election concerns among voters, according to polls – diverting almost €500 million from asylum centres to social cooperation schemes.
Teachers, soldiers, police and other officials are also due a pay rise.
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