Little enthusiasm for releasing work savings
Members of the parliament sees little reasoning to release the savings so Dutch people can use them for the upcoming holiday season.30 October 2008
THE HAGUE - A proposal by Agnes Jongerius, head of the Netherlands' largest trade union federation FNV, to allow people access to their work-related savings - which are normally blocked for a number of years - has so far met with little enthusiasm.
Only Economic Affairs Minister Maria van der Hoeven has agreed to the idea, which is meant to provide a boost to the flagging economy.
Dutch taxpayers are permitted to save a portion of their salaries before taxes and reduce the amount of tax they pay. In return, the government demands that the work-related savings remain in a special account for four years. It may only be used before the four years are up in special circumstances such as the purchase of a house.
Jongerius says that many companies dependent on Dutch consumers are being hard hit by the financial crisis and that the money would be a boost to the national economy.
While Deputy Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager says he is willing to study the proposal, at present he sees no convincing reason to release the savings by Christmas.
Most members of parliament were also sceptical.
The government released the savings once before, in 2005, in an attempt to boost the economy.
[Radio Netherlands / Expatica]