The outgoing cabinet is planning to spend several million euros making sure people living on social security benefits or small pensions are not hit financially in 2018, broadcaster NOS said on Monday evening, in response to a report in the NRC.
The NRC said that social security ministry calculations show claimants and poor pensioners will not benefit from economic growth next year, and that this poses a second tricky issue for the outgoing cabinet to deal with.
The outgoing cabinet is currently compiling next year’s spending plans, which will be presented on September 19, because the new cabinet has not yet been finalised.
However, sources told NOS that there are ‘no great differences’ of opinion between the two parties about repairing the damage to people on very low incomes and that the cost will be between €300m and €500m.
The biggest bone of contention between the VVD and Labour party, who form the outgoing government, is what to do about teachers’ pay. Labour leader Lodewijk Asscher has threatened to refuse to sign the 2018 spending plans without a commitment to increase teachers’ salaries.
However, sources told NOS that here too agreement is likely because a commitment to increase pay may be included in the next cabinet’s plans.
The outgoing cabinet lead by prime minister Mark Rutte is now the Netherlands’ longest-serving post World War II cabinet. On Sunday, the cabinet had been in power for 1,749 days, one day longer than the third cabinet led by CDA prime minister Ruud Lubbers.
The Netherlands went to the polls to elect a new government on March 15 but talks on forming a new administration are unlikely to be completed before October, insiders have said.
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