The main points of the 2015 budget

The main points of the 2015 budget

17th September 2014, Comments 0 comments

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.


Housing

  • 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.


Other measures

  • 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.

 

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