Cabinet agrees on budget cuts
Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende and Minister of Finance Wouter Bos have said the cabinet is agreed in principle about the measures to be taken to combat financial setbacks in the coming years.THE NETHERLANDS - No cuts will be made in either 2009 or 2010, but ministries that encounter problems will be asked to fix them themselves. A sum of EUR 1.5 billion will be placed in reserve to deal with any setbacks that may arise this year.
Prime Minister Balkenende and Minister of Finance Bos say they do not want to discuss the precise measures to be taken until they are officially presented in May in the interim budget report. What is known is that cuts of almost EUR 2 billion are planned for 2011.
On Friday, the cabinet announced that government grants to councils, provinces and district water boards would be frozen at the level they had reached before the economic crisis broke.
However, to encourage investment in local projects, Deputy Minister for Kingdom Relations Ank Bijleveld announced that councils and provinces will be given permission to let their budget deficits increase.