Friday 03 April 2020

2020 budget: the main points in the government’s spending plans

Photo: Depositphotos.com

A youth parliament to give youngsters a voice in political developments, €2bn to stimulate local councils and housing corporations to build more homes and the introduction of company bike – as opposed to car – schemes are among the government’s plans for 2020. Here are the main points:

Taxes and income

  • Spending power to rise across the board, people in jobs will benefit most
  • Tax on cigarettes and rolling tobacco will rise by €1 on April 1
  • More parents to qualify for extra child benefits, cost to the cabinet €500m
  • From July 1, new fathers to get five weeks paternity leave, paid at 70% of salary*
  • The state pension (AOW) age will remain 66 years and four months*
  • Employers will pay lower jobless benefit (ww) premiums for workers on permanent contracts, more for people on flexible contracts*
  • Healthcare benefits to rise €67 a year for single people, €95 for couples
  • The tax on energy will rise but bills will be cut by €100 for the average household via a tax back scheme
  • Tax break for freelancers to be reduced from €7,030 to €5,000 by 2028*

Healthcare

  • €50m on top of earlier announced €370 to train healthcare workers
  • More money for family doctors and psychiatric care
  • €1bn up to 2021 for youth social services
  • Maximum ceiling for drugs prices to be reduced by changing calculation method and pressuring manufacturers

Transport

  • Investment in roads to reach almost €3bn, including A9 and A1 improvements
  • €100m to keep shipping lanes properly maintained
  • Introduction of company bike schemes for commuters from January 2020
  • €100m to boost the sale of second hand electric cars up to 2024
  • €2.6bn for the railways, including new safety systems
  • Introduction of more ‘train every 10 minutes’ services

Education

  • €333m to reduce pressure on primary school teachers, €270m for salaries*
  • University and college fees to remain at 50% for the first year
  • More money for trade schools and for pre-school projects in disadvantaged areas
  • €15m to support gifted children
  • €5m to stimulate diversity in science

Home affairs

  • €1bn to the six big cities to enable local authorities to speed up housing construction
  • €1bn to lower taxes paid by housing corporations
  • Threshold for social housing to rise to €42,000 for a couple
  • Tenants to earn too much for social housing to face rent increases of up to €100 a month
  • €50m to develop a clean air agreement with local and provincial governments
  • A ‘youth parliament’ to give youngsters a voice in politics will be established
  • New rules will be introduced for political party (online) campaigning

Defence

  • Defence spending to reach €11bn or 1.35% of GDP
  • Investment in defence staff recruitment to solve 8,000 structural shortages
  • Better contracts, investment in equipment
  • Strengthening of national cybersecurity by increasing the capacity of the military intelligence service MIVD and the Defense Cyber Command

Justice and security

  • More tools for police and the public prosecutor to confiscate criminal earnings
  • Fines for internet providers if online child pornography is not removed from servers and computers within 24 hours
  • €95m extra for courts
  • More limits on access to free legal advice and support*
  • Sanctions for people who launch cyber attacks
  • A structural €65m to speed up asylum procedures and and extra €35m in 2020
  • Structural deals with other European countries on accommodating refugees to make sure the protection of refugees is the same European wide
  • Prevention of illegal immigrationand people trafficking in cooperation with the countries of passage in North Africa

Climate and nature

  • Further develop plans to phase out the use of gas in private homes*
  • More experiments to deal with excess rainwater
  • €300m a year up to 2030 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and €60m for innovation and pilot projects
  • €80m to stimulate circularity in construction projects

Economic affairs

  • A €7.5m investment in new technologies, such as solar cells, artificial intelligence and biotechnology in 2020, and an annual €10m from 2021
  • €65m to be made available to start-ups between 2019 and 2023 to be distributed via the TechLeap NL programme
  • A stronger market position for farmers by preventing unfair trading practices
  • Promotion of circular farming

*Announced earlier

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