Coalition MPs agree EUR 1bn budget changes
22 September 2004
AMSTERDAM — MPs of the three Dutch coalition government parties reached agreement on Wednesday to adjust the Cabinet’s economising plans by EUR 1 billion. The changes have yet to be approved by the government.
The parliamentary factions of the Christian Democrat CDA, Liberal VVD and Democrat D66 agreed in secret talks that cuts to the education budget should be scrapped, RTL News reported.
They also agreed to preserve the grey number plate scheme exempting company vehicles from the BPM registration tax, ease the planned cuts to the VUT and pre-pension early retirement schemes and allocate more money to art, youth care and the Dutch film industry.
The plan would be funded by reducing public service bureaucracy and implementing fiscal measures making companies operate in a more environmentally friendly manner.
The cabinet has said it will only implement the MPs plan if an analysis indicates it can be financed in a practical way.
The government unveiled proposals on Tuesday to save EUR 2.5 billion next year in spending cuts and higher taxes to reduce the budget deficit to 2.6 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It claims the cuts are necessary to strengthen the economy in the long term.
Discussions in the Lower House of Parliament, Tweede Kamer, in reaction to the budget will be held next Tuesday and Wednesday. Deputy Prime Minister Gerrit Zalm will represent the government as Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende is in hospital with an infection of the foot.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news