New Dutch government won’t have as much cash as expected

The four parties currently discussing forming a new Dutch government will have less money to divide up than expected, chief negotiator Edith Schippers told reporters on Thursday evening.

‘A number of setbacks and current issues which have to be dealt with’ mean there is less financial room to manoeuvre, Schippers said, after being briefed by caretaker finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem earlier in the week.

Neither Schippers or the finance ministry would say how much money is involved. The government macro-economic think-tank CPB said last month the budget surplus would reach €3.5bn this year, mounting up to €11bn by 2021.

Despite the negative financial news, Schippers said she is ‘cautiously optimistic’ that the talks between the VVD, D66, Christian Democrats and GroenLinks will succeed.

The first 11 days of negotiations have been well used and the spirit at the discussion table is ‘extremely good’ she said. Prime minister and VVD leader Mark Rutte has also said progress is being made.

The talks will not continue next week as the four party leaders take a holiday break.