Main points of official 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.
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