MPs from across the political spectrum are calling on the caretaker government to make changes to its 2024 spending plans in the second day of debate on the budget.
Taxes on energy, the cost of childcare and public transport price hikes are among the measures MPs hope to force ministers to rethink.
For example, a narrow majority of MPs now back calls for a further 1.7% rise in the minimum wage and social security benefits next year.
MPs have also urged the government to increase spending on childcare by some €400 million and to introduce a maximum hourly price for organised childcare.
Some 79 of the 150 MPs have also backed a call from the VVD not to increase the price of petrol next year by dropping a 20 cents per litre tax break introduced in 2022. This should be paid for from earnings on natural gas and, if that is not enough, from a national fund to stimulate economic growth, the MPs say.
MPs also want energy taxes to be reduced in general.
A clear majority of MPs also support a proposal from ChristenUnie and GroenLinks-PvdA to stop train and regional bus ticket price hikes next year. Public transport should be considered a “basic provision”, MPs said.
Earlier in the day, outgoing prime minister Mark Rutte, defending his last budget, said the measures it contained were well considered and aimed and stopping more children growing up in poverty.
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But Rutte said he understood MPs wishes to make changes. “In the end, it is all about majorities,” he told MPs.
The debate is being seen by commentators as an unofficial start to the election campaign. It will be up to the government how many of the changes it implements.
The debate will continue until Thursday night.