The ruling right-wing Liberal party published its manifesto for the September general election on Friday and called for spending cuts of €24bn to restore order to government finances.
‘We can only emerge from this crisis in a stronger position if we are prepared to take tough measures now,’ prime minister and VVD campaign leader Mark Rutte said. ‘We need to straighten out the government’s finances, [in one four-year period] or we will end up like southern Europe.’
At the same time, the party is pledging to cut taxes by €5bn and spend an extra €3bn on education, public safety and infrastructure.
The savings will be made by chopping €9bn from the social security budget, €7bn from healthcare, €3bn on development aid and €5bn across other departments.
The plans involve dropping several measures agreed by five parties in the spring austerity agreement: commuters will not face a tax on their travel expenses and employers will not be made responsible for the first six months of unemployment benefit.
The main points:
Sources: VVD, Volkskrant, Nos
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