Wednesday 22 September 2021

Budget leak: cabinet set to spend €6bn on tackling climate change

The all important briefcase. Photo: Finance Ministry

The caretaker government is set to spend more than €6 billion on extra measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and €400 million on combating organised crime in next month’s budget.

Details leaked to RTL Nieuws and De Telegraaf, and confirmed by sources to Nieuwsuur, revealed that the cabinet has also earmarked €200 million to reduce income inequality.

Although the cabinet lost its mandate in January, finance minister Wopke Hoekstra still has to present an annual budget to parliament on the third Tuesday in September.

The government also needs to respond to hard deadlines such as the Supreme Court’s judgment in the Urgenda case, which requires it to cut CO2 emissions by 25% of 1990 levels before the end of this year.

New schemes to tackle climate change are likely to take the form of subsidies to encourage people to insulate their homes or switch to electric cars, and more funding for existing programmes for businesses that invest in solar panels and wind turbines.

Some of the €400 million allocated to countering organised crime will go towards better protection for people at risk from criminal gangs, partly in response to the fatal shooting of journalist Peter R. de Vries in Amsterdam in July.

According to the leaked details, the government will also spend €200 million on raising the spending power of low earners, with the emphasis on single-income households, pensioners, families with children and people on the minimum wage.

The two left-wing opposition parties, GroenLinks and Labour (PvdA), who want to join the next coalition, last week called for an extra €2 billion to be spent on people at the lower end of the income scale, including pay rises for teachers and healthcare workers.

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