Royalty fans line up to see the king as ministers present their spending plans

Royalty fans take their places along the route. Photo: Laurens van Putten / Hollandse Hoogte
Royalty fans take their places along the route. Photo: Laurens van Putten / Hollandse Hoogte

Royalty fans began gathering in The Hague early on Tuesday morning, hoping to catch a glimpse of king Willem-Alexander and queen Maxima as they head to the Binnenhof in a horse-drawn coach for the traditional state opening of parliament.

After arriving at the Ridderzaal at around 1.30 pm, the king will deliver his annual speech outlining the government’s plans for the current year in front of an audience of politicians, captains of industry and other invited guests.

Later, at 3pm, finance minister Wopke Hoekstra will make a short speech in parliament, outlining the broad sweeps of government spending policy for next year, at which point individual ministerial budgets will become public.

However, as every year, much of the detail has already been leaked to the press. This year, pundits say, the focus of the coalition government’s plans will go toward helping the middle class.

What we know so far:

  • €3bn has been allocated to boost spending power by at least 2%
  • More measures will be announced to help first-time buyers
  • More measures to limit potential rent increases for tenants
  • €1bn to help local authorities prepare land for residential construction
  • Tax break for freelancers to be reduced gradually to €5,000
  • Corporation tax for small firms with less than €200,000 profit a year to be cut
  • Multinationals will have to pay corporation taxes from 2021
  • Ministers expect health insurance premiums to rise by €3 a month
  • There will be no change to the health insurance own risk payment
  • More money for defence, following years of cuts
  • Savers with less than €440,000 in savings will pay less asset tax will be providing detailed coverage of the government’s plans, the king’s speech and reactions to the budget on Tuesday afternoon.

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