No more cuts in Dutch development aid

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The Dutch parliament does not want further cuts in the development cooperation budget. The cabinet must stick to 0.7 percent of the gross national income for the duration of this government. A motion to this effect was put forward by opposition parties Green Left and the Christian Union and approved by a majority comprising opposition parties plus the Christian Democrats, the junior coalition partner.

An aid budget of 0.7 percent of GNI is the minimum amount agreed at international level. For many years the Netherlands contributed 0.8 percent, but that was reduced to 0.7 percent by this government as soon as it took office. The reduction represented a saving of one billion euros.

Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party, on which the minority coalition depends for its parliamentary majority, wants to restrict development cooperation to emergency aid and reduce it even further if the economic crisis calls for more austerity measures. That will be a lot more difficult now parliament has approved this motion.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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