All sides agree on "difficult" 2015 budget
After negotiations at the Ministry of Finance with financial specialist from the ruling parties and friendly opposition parties, the Cabinet seems to be in agreement about the budget for next year. Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem says the consensus is a "careful budget", De Telegraaf reports. Present at negotiations were financial specialists from friendly opposition parties D66, ChristenUnie and SGP, and ruling parties VVD and PvdA as well as Finance Minister Dijsselbloem and Prime Minister Mark Rutte. According to De Telegraaf, the agreement was about a "careful budget" that takes into account the limited amount of space available, and uncertainties within international geopolitics. Dijssebloem hopes to gain "a plus where possible" by creating a balanced purchasing power image by saving as much as possible on peoples' purchasing power. The Netherlands is not yet on top, economically speaking, Dijsselbloem says, but "we are gradually going in the right direction." Alexander Pechtold of the D66 thinks that the agreements reached are respectable. He finds taxes are still high, but that they have increased less, and hopes that this is a "turning point." Kees van der Staaij (SGP) and Arie Slob (ChristenUnie) are both satisfied with the results. The budget negotiations landed on the decision to make around €1 billion available for lessening the burden of previously agreed tax increments. This will lead to a rise in purchasing power of 0.25 percent. Other points of the agreement are that €900 million will become available for emergency aid and housing of refugees and asylum seekers. Defense will receive €100 million, despite earlier fears that there would be cuts to defense. According to the NRC, other agreements are €500 million for tax reductions for low and middle incomes and more help for the elderly with low income. The entire budget for 2015 will be presented on the 16th of September, Prinsjesdag.