Dutch government to cut 4,000 civil service jobs
Proposed cuts in the Dutch civil service will mean the loss of thousands of jobs over the next few years. The interim budget drawn up by the caretaker government of Jan-Peter Balkenende aims at a cost reduction of 230 million euros by 2015, which is equivalent to 4,000 civil servants.
Daily reports that the government will present its proposals to the Lower House next week. In earlier cost cutting moves the Christian Democrat-dominated government scrapped 12,800 jobs in the civil service.
The number of people employed by the national government is currently 120,000. When employees of the Education Ministry and of local authorities are included, the total is approximately 400,000.
The new measures are part of a much larger exercise which should yield spending cuts of up to 3.2 billion euro on the national budget by 2015. The salaries of government employees will be "moderated". Outgoing Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager said earlier that the 3.2 billion cut can be seen as part of the 18 billion reduction which is being planned by the incoming government.
Debate 'pointless' The planned Lower House debate about the 2011 budget has been postponed. MPs agreed that a discussion with the outgoing caretaker government would be pointless since the measures would have to be implemented by a new cabinet, whose arrival on the political scene is expected in the coming weeks.
Free-market liberal VVD and Christian Democrat CDA are putting the finishing touches to a rightwing coalition which relies on parliamentary support by the anti-immigration Freedom Party of populist leader Geert Wilders.
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