No free school books this year
The school books for secondary education will not be free this year.
18 January 2008
THE HAGUE – The school books for secondary education will not be free this year. The government sees no chance of having this arranged in time, partly because of European tendering regulations.
Moreover the amount of EUR 308 per pupil determined last year is not enough.
Insiders in political circles in The Hague confirmed a report to this effect on NOS Journaal on Thursday.
The cabinet will discuss the problem during its meeting on Friday. Rumour has it that the government is still going to try to give parents some relief this year, via the tax authority perhaps.
ChristenUnie faction leader Arie Slob said on the news programme that he expects the matter to be sorted.
The Democrat D66 faction wants an emergency debate. A spokesperson said it would be a "bureaucratic disaster for parents if they have to pay for the books and then save their receipts for the tax authority."
The cabinet decided at the end of September last year to introduce free school books. At first the cabinet only planned to provide free books for the first phase of secondary education. At urging from Christian democrat CDA, Labour Pvda and ChristenUnie however the plan was extended to the whole of secondary education.
The scheme was aimed at providing some compensation for the loss in purchasing power. The book costs are to be financed with the yields from traffic fines.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2008]
Subject: Dutch news