PM: weakest groups profited most from recovery
28 September 2006, AMSTERDAM — Vulnerable groups in society have profited the most from the Dutch economic recovery, Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said on Thursday.
28 September 2006
AMSTERDAM — Vulnerable groups in society have profited the most from the Dutch economic recovery, Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said on Thursday.
He said rising employment rates have improved the position of youth, long-term unemployed and immigrants.
Speaking in Parliament during discussions around the 2007 Budget, Balkenende said the criticism from opposition MPs that the cabinet had primarily imposed financial burdens on the weakest groups in society was "one-sided".
"We have asked what was necessary from the public, but families and the elderly are protected as much as possible," the Christian Democrat CDA leader said.
Balkenende said the past few years were economically tough, but that he had seen the "resilience" of society to tackle problems.
Wage rises have been moderated, social accords had been reached with employers and employee organisations and staff in healthcare, education and the police have improved services.
Balkenende said there is now a greater supply of labour and that taxes have been lowered.
He denied claims from Labour PvdA leader Wouter Bos that other European economies had improved more, stressing that the Netherlands was again leading the way.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Dutch news