Dutch wants government to spend at home

16th February 2009, Comments 0 comments

Two separate surveys show the Dutch want its government to combat the financial crisis by spending on infrastructure.

THE NETHERLANDS – Almost half the Dutch population believes the government should reduce spending on military missions and development aid, and focus on education and healthcare, reveals a survey by Social and Cultural Planning Office.

While most people surveyed expressed full support for the government, they admitted the current economic developments and the atmosphere in the Netherlands made them feel gloomy. But despite the financial crisis, many expressed confidence about their personal financial situations.

In a separate informal investigation of government ministries, the newspaper De Volkskrant discovered that many top civil servants consider building, renovation and infrastructure projects to be reliable ways of fighting the financial crisis.

Such measures are seen as a way of ensuring that government funds invested in the country stay within.

De Volkskrant reports that the ministries are expected to submit their proposals for stimulus projects to the finance ministry this week.

The proposals are intended to become part of a modest stimulus package and will be judged by the extent to which they boost employment.

Many of the proposals will include projects which have been brought forward, including maintenance of schools, roads, bridges and the restoration of monuments.

Also included will be green projects, such as the insulation of homes, schools and offices.

De Volkskrant writes that other European countries also favour infrastructural projects in their stimulus packages because this type of project the least amount of money "leaks away" to other countries.

Putting more money in consumers' pockets, for instance by lowering VAT is therefore not really an option.

[Radio Netherlands / Georg Scheuder Hes / Expatica]

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