Agreement reached on spring budget statement but details still under wraps

The parliamentary complex in The Hague. Photo:

The four coalition parties have reached agreement on the government’s spring budget statement and will now put the plans to the opposition for their thoughts, prime minister Mark Rutte has told reporters.

Once the opposition parties have had their say, the statement will be finalised before being presented to the public, Rutte said after a long night of negotiations.

The prime minister declined to go into details about what is on the table, but said he was keen to see broad agreement in parliament about the plans. The current coalition does not have majority support in the senate and needs to get some of the opposition parties on board.

There are ‘a great many variants’ for the final plans, Rutte said.

In total, ministers need to find €10 billion to €15 billion to make up for extra spending due to soaring energy prices, MPs’ insistence on increasing the state pension and on compensation for people affected by the tax on savings which has now been ruled illegal. Defence spending is also set to increase to meet Nato targets.

The options being discussed include cancelling plans to cut corporate taxes on profits up to €400,000 and the end of the 30% ruling, a tax break for some international workers brought in from abroad, NOS said on Thursday.

According to RTLZ, the coalition has also decided only to compensate people who made an official protest about being taxed too much on their savings – about 60,000 in total. RTLZ does not mention the 30% ruling as one of the options.

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