Budget attacked by opposition parties

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The 2009 budget neglects the elderly, chronically ill and disabled people, say left wing parties.

18 September 2008

THE HAGUE -- The 2009 budget has come under severe criticism from the opposition parties in the first day of the general debate on the spending plans on Wednesday.

Left wing parties said the budget lacks consideration for elderly, chronically ill and disabled people.  The Socialist Party said the Labour Party has allowed itself to be bulldozed by the Christian Democrats.

The conservative VVD takes the diametrically opposite view, referring to a "classic Labour budget, financed on tick". VVD leader Mark Rutte characterised the policy as "buy now, pay in 2010".

Right-wing Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders said the present cabinet was the worst ever, which had lost sight of the interests of ordinary Dutch people.

MPs from the governing parties expressed their support for the cabinet, but they also put forward proposals for amendments.  Labour Party MPs want to see compensation for the rise in the cost of living for the elderly and people living on benefit, who will be hit by changes in tax rebates for exceptional healthcare expenses.

The Christian Democrats think the government should become more customer-friendly, and invest more in infrastructure.

The cabinet will response to the criticisms on the second day of debate on the budget on Thursday.

[Radio Netherlands / Expatica]

For more Dutch news, please go to http://www.expatica.com/nl/articles/general.html

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