Main points of official budget

20th September 2005, Comments 0 comments

20 September 2005, AMSTERDAM — Most of the information was already leaked. Here are the main points of Finance Minister Gerrit Zalm's optimistic budget.

20 September 2005

AMSTERDAM — Most of the information was already leaked. Here are the main points of Finance Minister Gerrit Zalm's optimistic budget.

- The Dutch economy will grow by 2.5 percent in 2006;

- Unemployment will fall from 505,000 to 475,000;

- Inflation will be 1 percent;

- The budget deficit will remain stable at 1.8 percent;

- EUR 2 billion extra will be made available to reduce the financial burden on the public and an extra EUR 500 million for extra expenditure; 

- The user's portion of the property tax (OZB) will be abolished, reducing the burden on tenants and home owners; 

- The WW unemployment benefit premium paid by employees will be reduced by 0.5 percent;

- The general tax-free allowance will rise by EUR 78;

- An extra EUR 200 million will go towards childcare;

- Annual increase in tax on car fuel will not be implemented in 2006;

- Thanks to higher natural gas receipts, an extra EUR 2.3 billion will be available over the next few years for investment in the environment, education and innovation. Another EUR 1 billion will be used to stimulate wind energy;

- The new basic healthcare insurance system comes into operation in 2006, replacing the current two tier public-private system;

- Tax breaks on savings in pre-pension schemes will be scrapped;

- More restrictive workers disability scheme (WAO) comes into operation on 1 January 2006. The period in which WW unemployment benefit is paid will be reduced from 1 October;

- Many newcomers will have to take integration courses, but the number won't be as high as Immigration and Integration Minister Rita Verdonk initially planned.

[Copyright Expatica News and ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news 

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