Dutch Cabinet considering additional cuts

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National daily De Telegraaf writes that the financial crisis will continue to haunt the Dutch people for years to come.

The paper bases its prediction on a proposal for 15 billion euros in additional budget cuts currently being circulated among cabinet ministers. The proposed amount is based on a pessimistic scenario of years of no or little economic growth, and substantially higher than the 10 billion euros which was being discussed until now.

The document lists dozens of possible cuts, such as reducing mortgage interest tax rebates, raising the pensionable age to 68 and limiting unemployment benefits to 12 months.

The proposal speaks of a veritable ‘menu system’ of budget cuts which coalition partners VVD conservatives and CDA Christian democrats and their parliamentary backer the Freedom Party will have to choose from when negotiations on additional cuts start in earnest in early March.

The exact amount of the additonal cuts will only become clear when the Bureau for Economic Policy Analyses publishes its latest economic growth forecast in a few weeks time.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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