Queen Beatrix: cuts will affect everyone
The year ahead will see deep budget cuts which will affect every Dutch citizen, Queen Beatrix said in her annual Budget Day address to parliament.
The monarch's speech, written by Prime Minister Rutte's centre-right minority cabinet, outlined a raft of economies aimed at producing 18,000 million euros in savings. The national budget deficit is expected to rise to 2.9 percent next year, just 0.1 below the limit set for euro currency countries like the Netherlands. Individual households will experience a one percent reduction of their purchasing power in 2012. "The government is no longer able to soften the blows dealt by a shrinking economy," Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager wrote in the 2012 Budget.
There are also grounds for optimism, Queen Beatrix said. "Our starting position is positive. The government is looking forward to an involved and open exchange of views," she told the joint Upper and Lower House meeting in the Knights' Hall. "We would like to work with you towards solutions which are widely accepted." The queen is officially part of the government, but she has no formal politcal role.
After the address, the royal party made a coach ride through the city centre of The Hague, returning to Noordeinde palace where they appeared on the balcony to greet the crowds.Budget Day 2011
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