Econ. policy group accused of propaganda, electioneering

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The Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis(CPB) has been accused of issuing propagandistic information before election time. 

Reinier Castelein, president of trade union De Unie says that unemployment will earlier rise to 750,000 than to 650,000, which is what the CPB hinted at on Tuesday. "I think the CPB has changed into the ministry of propaganda", Castelein said, who is dubious about the Bureau's publication of these figures right before the elections.

Wednesday, the Netherlands will get report results from 'budget tsar' Olli Rehn, BNR reports, following the optimistic figures the CPB released on Tuesday. The Bureau expects unemployment to rise to 650 thousand this year, and to drop to 600 thousand in 2015. Castelein is unconvinced by the figures.

What confuses Castelein is that the CBS already came out with 678,000 unemployed over January, considerably more than the 650,000 that the CPB envisions as a maximum.

"What surprises me is that two instances that are financed with public money are publishing different numbers, and that this concerns a 50,000 difference. And those are people who need to make an income, and are this country's tax payers. We're talking about chilling figures and these people are totally invisible."

"I'm placing it in a row of hollow election rhetoric; I have the idea that there is a lot of trickery with numbers happening. It's probably about definitions, but they are people without an income and I'm thinking we'll sooner grow in the direction of 750,000. I think that we are going to reach an unemployment percentage of more than 10 percent the coming years."

Castelein is unsatisfied with the lack of hope that the government is giving for the unemployed. "It's not bad if people lose a job one day, as long as they know that they'll find a new job quickly. And the cabinet is not offering that perspective at all."

 

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