The main points of the 2015 budget
Few major new policy measures were announced by ministers on Tuesday and much of the key economic information had already been leaked. Here is a summary of the main points:
Taxes and income
- Spending power will rise by an average 0.5 percent.
- Single parents will see a 10 percent increase in spending power, single breadwinner families on average incomes a 3 percent drop.
- Fewer tax breaks for the elderly. Four in 10 pensioners will be worse off.
- Economic growth to reach 1.25 percent.
- Budget deficit to hit 2.2 percent, well below the 3 percent eurozone limit.
- Unemployment to drop from 650,000 to 605,000.
- The lowest tax band (up to EUR 16,645) will be cut by 0.25 percent to 36.5 percent, although this is effectively a 0.5 percent increase.
Health and benefits
- Healthcare own risk to rise from EUR 360 to EUR 375.
- Healthcare insurance will rise by an estimated EUR 10 a month.
- Healthcare benefits for those on very low incomes will rise.
- Income-dependent health insurance premium for pensioners and self-employed to rise.
- Parents who lose their jobs will keep childcare benefits for six not three months.
Security and foreign policy
- Extra spending on defence: EUR 300m to 2018.
- Extra spending on emergency aid: EUR 570m.
- Extra spending on refugees: EUR 375m.
- Extra spending on AIVD security service: EUR 25m per year.
- Foreign affairs ministry to ‘maintain or strengthen’ embassies in the Middle East and unstable regions close to Europe.
- 6 percent VAT tariff on home repairs extended to July 2015.
- The points system for determining social housing rents will be revised to take property values more into account.
- People who move house but can’t sell their first home can deduct the cost of both mortgages from tax for three, rather than two, years.
- EUR 200m to stimulate innovation.
- Tax relief on environment-friendly cars to be cut.
- Petrol and diesel prices to rise in line with inflation.
- EUR 20m for the Dutch film industry to strengthen its international position.
- Civil service and public sector salaries to rise in line with market developments after a multi-year pay freeze.
- King Willem-Alexander to get a EUR 6,000 pay rise, taking his income to EUR 823,000, Queen Máxima to get an extra EUR 2,000.
- Almost EUR 50m to be spent on renovating royal palaces.