Royal family in vanguard of cuts
The Royal family’s budget was the first to be cut, both last year and this year, to a total of four percent. High councils of state and parliament will be subjected to budget cuts in the coming years.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte says he therefore sees ‘no reason whatsoever’ to impose further cuts on the royal budget. Earlier this week a majority - including Mr Rutte’s own conservative VVD - urged the cabinet to cut the royal budget because it would be unjust to spare the royal family.
However, Mr Rutte says the royal family’s budget has already been cut. “The queen is leading the way, and that is the way it’s supposed to be,” the prime minister said during a parliamentary debate on Thursday. He also pointed out that the queen’s salary is ‘frozen’ as it’s linked to civil servants’ salaries. “And she is even a little worse off because of inflation. In that respect she is no exception compared to the rest of the Netherlands.”
Mr Rutte rejected a Labour Party proposal to limit the tax breaks enjoyed by the queen and her successor. Other left-wing parties also felt the queen should be treated the same as any other taxpayer. Queen Beatrix, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and his wife Princess Máxima receive a tax-free income and pay no inheritance tax.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide