Gov't. deficit and debt down: Dijsselbloem

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The budget deficit and national debt have gone down once more from previous estimates, according to the Spring memorandum, the interim overview detailing the implementation of the budget from this year, Het Parool reports. 

The government deficit this year is being estimated at 2.7 percent. Last year September, this was still 3.3 percent, and in the earliest estimates from the Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB) in March, 2.9 percent.

The national debt is going down to 73.9 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP). In September, this was still 76.1 percent, and with the CPB estimates in March, 74.6 percent.

For the deficit, the decrease has been attributed to several windfalls such as the drop in medicine prices. Due to that, the cost of care is also lower. There has also been less spending on social security, according to the estimates, and state companies deliver higher dividend. There has also been a wind fall in study financing. The Cabinet is, however, spending more money on rental allowance.

Minister of Finance, Jeroen Dijsselbloem says that apart from government finances, there is also a change noticeable in unemployment. He says this, despite there being 685,000 jobless people in the Netherlands.

This drop in the deficit has landed the Netherlands back in the margin of European budget rules, and minister Dijsselbloem is also expecting that Brussels will take the Netherlands out of the list of EU countries with a high budget deficit. For these countries, special agreements count, worked out in the so-called 'excessive deficit procedure.'

The Netherlands is still obligated, however, to bring the national debt down in stages. This debt rose dramatically during he period of the credit- and economic crisis. Before the crisis, in 2007, the national debt amounted per Dutch citizen to around €16,000. Now, this amount has grown to €26,000.