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Government’s Budget for 2012 Shows Effects of Crisis

September 18, 2011

By Stella Toonen

AMSTERDAM – Queen Beatrix will officially announce the “Miljoenennota” in The Hague Tuesday during “Prinsjesdag” proceedings.

“Prinsjesdag” is a day set aside for the monarch to address a joint session of the Dutch Senate and House of Representatives.

The “Miljoenennota” is the Dutch Government’s budget proposal for the next year.  She will also present the “Troonrede,” her speech about the Government’s non-financial regulations for 2012.

Next year’s proposal shows cuts in several benefit regulation while a decrease in purchasing power will also take center stage.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s main goal is to reduce the national debt, a move expected to spark severe cuts in all ministries.

The most important amendments are cuts in health care, rent and day care benefits.

Lower- and middle-class families are expected to bear the brunt of these new rules.

Amsterdam alderman André Van Es of the left-wing party GroenLinks said it is “unbelievable that the Government doesn’t choose to increase taxes for people with higher incomes.”

Also, prices will increase by 4 percent, while Dutch salaries will only enjoy a 2 percent increment as  the Euro 5.8 billion cuts hog the limelight.

That means the purchasing power will decline, which also was the case last year and the year before.

The Miljoenennota also emphasises the importance of a united Europe. In a 76-paged document, the word “Europe” features at least forty times.

A showdown is expected between coalition partners with Rutte (VVD) willing to make sacrifices to support Europe, while tough-talking, right wing party leader Geert Wilders (PVV) is demanding an exit strategy.

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