Monday, August 18, 2014 - 13:57
VVD kicks off 2015 budget talks
Monday sees the launch of the first budget negotiations after the Summer. Ministers tell NU.nl that the talks are positive, and it does not look like there will be more stringent budget cuts. Prime Minister Mark Rutte, deputy PM Lodewijk Asscher and Minister of Finance Jeroen Dijsselbloem spoke first with VVD faction president Halbe Zijlstra and PvdA faction president Diederik Samsom at the Ministry of Finance. After this there will be discussions with opposition faction presidents Alexander Pechtold (D66), Arie Slob (CU) and Kees van der Staay (SGP). It is expected that most of these talks will revolve around tax reductions, extra money for Defense and Development Aid. VVD faction president Zijlstra has good hope that the Cabinet, coalition parties and friendly opposition parties will come to a good agreement about next year's budget, he tells NU.nl. The politician believes that there will indeed be extra money available for tax cuts and defense. The D66's Pechtold also spoke positively of the meeting. Further negotiations will continue on Friday. Every party has their 'wish list' for the budget. The D66, ChristenUnie and SGP presented these in April. Parties want tax reductions on labor and extra money for Defense and the Public Prosecution Authority. Ruling parties need these opposition parties for a majority in the Senate. Ruling parties VVD and PvdA already agreed that the highest incomes would get a tax reduction of half a billion euro. In exchange, illegality would not be punishable by law, which was a PvdA bill. Finance Minister Dijsselbloem states that there is only limited space for tax reductions. "The expectations are realistic, I think, and that is also good." He said that it was a "great win that we do not have to make more cuts than we had already planned." On the 16th of September, Prinsjesdag, the Cabinet will present the budget.