Give everyone an extra EUR 500, says union

30th August 2005, Comments 0 comments

30 August 2005, AMSTERDAM — The Cabinet must see to it that everyone is EUR 500 better off next year, Christian trade union group CNV said.

30 August 2005

AMSTERDAM — The Cabinet must see to it that everyone is EUR 500 better off next year, Christian trade union group CNV said.

The CNV presented the leaders of all the parliamentary parties on Tuesday with its own plan to boost purchasing power.

Last week it emerged the government's financial proposals for the 2006 budget will mainly benefit the well-off.

The CNV's demand was well received by opposition Labour Party leader Wouter Bos but Social Affairs Minister Aart-Jan de Geus wasn't enthusiastic at all.

De Geus is a member of Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende's Christian Democrat Party (CDA) and is a former leader of the CNV union confederation.

"The growth in purchasing power as proposed by the Cabinet is unbalanced and doesn't inspire confidence," CNV chairman René Paas said on Tuesday. The public, he said, is only interested in hard euros.

Paas said he was disturbed when he heard about the anticipated impact of the government's plan to boost purchasing power. "People on high incomes will be the main beneficiaries. People on mid and lower incomes will not experience the same growth," he said.

The CNV alternative is to introduce measures that will increase everybody's spending power by a fixed amount. This would ensure an equable share out in the growth of purchasing power, the confederation insisted.

The CNV acknowledged an extra EUR 500 will mean more to households on low incomes than for big earners.

"This amount is at most one month's rent, mortgage interest, a new washing machine or an overhaul of the car," the CNV said.

The confederation estimates its plan would cost the exchequer EUR 1 billion. As 2.5 million to three million households would have more money and would therefore spend more, the cabinet would earn this money back, the CNV said.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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