2014 kicks off: what changes?

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2014 kicks off with several changes, that will not go unnoticed. An overview.Youth, younger than 18 may longer be served (or consume) alcohol in catering establishments. The minimum age for purchasing alcohol in supermarkets and liquor stores has also been upped to 18. Youth, caught with alcohol in public will be fined. Excise on beer, wine, sherry, and port went up with 5,75 percent.

Driving a care will get more expensive. The excise also goes up. Diesel with 4,5 cents, LPG WITH 9 cents, and gas with1.5 cents per Liter (including the inflation). The purchase of small, economic and environmentally friendly cars will be less rewarding. Commercial drivers owe at least 4 percent addition on their new electrical cars.

The new registration will be in the form of a card, containing a chip with the information of car and owner. Tampering with the mileage is now officially punishable.

From now on only old-timers older than 40 years qualify for the exemption. Cars between 26 and 40-years-old qualify for a transition arrangement. Taxes will be slowly increased. In addition, starting December 2014, they are not allowed on the road in the months December up to February.

The general retirement law (AOW) is increased by another month to 65 years and 2 months. The minimum wage goes up to 1,485,60 gross per month, a raise of 8 euros. The rules around the "stamrecht BV" (a method for laid off workers to take advantage of a tax rule that allows them to receive severance payment without paying any taxes on it) changed, making it an unappealing option to use for severance pay.

The healthcare deductible is now 360 euros (went up with 10 euros). The healthcare allowance goes down. A single person receives 865 euros at the most, a family receives up to 1,655 euros.

The cap for rental homes in the social housing goes up to 699 euros. The earnings limit increases to 34,678 euros. The mortgage deductible is capped on at 1.5 percent. The interest deductible decreases annually, starting 2014, with half a percent to 38 percent. Also homeowners pay more tax because of an increase of the national rental value from 0.6 percent to 0.7 percent.

Every household will marginally pay 10 euros more for energy to contribute to renewable energy. Tap water is a few bucks more expensive.

Most MBO-studies are shortened this year (from 4 to 3 years). Before May 1st students have to be enrolled in a new study.

Court fees go up, making it more expensive to go to court. Cities may impose fines on negligent citizens, up to a maximum of 325 euros.

The magistrate may seize the assets of a suspect to prevent capital from being hidden.

The reduced VAT rate for labor when remodeling and repairing homes will be extended by one year. Only 6 percent tax, the low rate, is due.

Farmers are not allowed to produce more manure than they can dispose of on their own land. The only exception being if they can prove they can dispose of the manure by means of a permanent contract.

Starting Monday the mandatory mail delivery on Mondays is of the past. Mourning cards and other emergency orders will still be delivered.

Starting January 1st Romanians and Bulgarians are welcome in all EU-countries.

Starting today, excessive bonuses can be recovered by the minister of Finances. Municipalities are required to bank with the State. They are no longer allowed to store excess money in an offshore account.

Airtime on Radio1's has been rearranged. The fusion broadcasters (TROS / AVRO, VARA / BNN and NCRV / KRO) started broadcasting more during the day. A digital subscription with a cable provider is now composed of a minimum of thirty channels.

Passports and ID cards will be valid for ten years. In additions no more finger printing is necessary when making an ID. A new driver's license will cost 38,48 euros at the most, nationwide.