BUDGET: 'Building for the future'
19 September 2006, AMSTERDAM — The Dutch government's policies are designed to build for the future, Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said on Tuesday.
19 September 2006
AMSTERDAM — The Dutch government's policies are designed to build for the future, Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said on Tuesday.
Speaking on Prinsjesdag (Budget Day), Balkenende said there are four key policy aims: getting more people back to work, improving public safety, encouraging respect in society and reducing red tape.
Balkenende said much has already been achieved thanks to the government's policies, but it is mainly due to the "commitment of the public". This was a nod to the tough reforms and wage moderation of recent years.
The number of benefit recipients has declined by 237,000 since 2003. Balkenende said this has only happened once before in the last 40 years. And employment rates will be better next year that in the previous "top year of 2001".
Vowing the government will "invest in the police", the Prime Minister said that property and violent crimes have fallen by 10 percent in the last four years. The cabinet, he said, will act "if people cross the line, and [there will be] less toleration".
And trumpeting his government's successes ahead of the general election on 22 November, Balkenende said the national debt continues to fall. Next year it will be less than half of the national income.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news