Dictionary of Dutchness

Zalm norm

The zalm norm has nothing to do with fish (zalm means salmon in Dutch) but is the strict fiscal policy introduced by former finance minister Gerrit Zalm which is still adhered to by the current government. Its success is in its simplicity – the cabinet allocates a fixed budget to each department. Extra spending is only allowed if the minister can make cuts in his or her own expenditure. And the treasury’s financial windfalls are only allowed to be used to reduce taxes or the national debt.

All typical untranslatable Dutch words and expressions translated in the Dictionairy of Dutchness
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