Friday 23 August 2019

Budget leaks: more money for families, security and counter-terrorism

Photo: Depositphotos.com

Photo: Depositphotos.com

The government is planning to boost spending on counter-terrorism, security, pensioners and children from poor families, according to leaked budget documents published by RTL news.

The right-wing Liberal VVD and Labour party (PvdA) are due to present their final budget before the 2017 general election later this month.

According to RTL news, €1.1bn has been allocated to spend on special social security benefits for poorer families and other measures to boost spending power across the board.

There will also be a structural increase in the security and justice ministry budget, which will be given an extra €450m for counter-terrorism, combating cybercrime, border controls and measures to beef up the national forensic institute NFI.

Defence

The defence ministry budget will also go up, after several years of cutbacks.

Other measures listed by RTL news include €100m for swimming lessons, school trips and sports clubs for children from the country’s poorest families. Spending on the arts and top level sport will also rise by €10m.

Ministers are also expecting 42,000 asylum seekers next year, 16,000 fewer than earlier estimates. This will free up €200m for extra spending elsewhere, RTL news said.

Leaks

Next year’s spending plans will be formally presented on September 20, but are traditionally widely circulated and leaked in advance of the actual budget day.

Opposition MPs have demanded that prime minister Mark Rutte investigate the source of the leaks. They are not given access to the documents until next Friday.

‘The government has leaked the documents so they should publish them all now,’ Socialist MP Ronald van Raak told RTL.

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