Dutch Labour Party opposes budget cuts

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The Dutch Labour Party says it is not fair that large companies will pay less tax on profits while cuts are being made in healthcare budgets. Labour Party MP and former minister Ronald Plasterk spoke out against government cuts during a debate on this year’s budget.

The caretaker government Christian Democrats and Christian Union presented its budget for 2011 last week. The budget contained 3.2 billion euros of cuts to be introduced over the course of five years. The Labour Party agrees with some of the choices, but has also presented an alternative budget together with the Socialist Party, Green Left and Democrats D66.

Mr Plasterk said if the current negotiations between rightwing parties runs aground, a broad centre-based government would also have to introduce heavy cuts, but that the pain would be more evenly spread. There are persistant rumours that the coalition talks are nearing completion this evening.

The Labour Party, Socialist Party, Green Left and D66 also oppose cuts in child care provision, integration courses, law and order and education. They would prefer to see cuts in the Joint Strike Fighter project and fewer subsidies granted by the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Ronald Plasterk pointed out that the four parties who wrote the alternative budget have 65 seats altogether. He hoped the conservative VVD and the Freedom party would support calls to prevent cuts in childcare.

Freedom Party MP Tony Van Dijck said he fully supported the caretaker government’s budget cuts. On childcare cuts he said the budget had been overspent and the cuts redressed the balance.


© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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