Emergency hearing on early budget leaks set for Thursday

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A Utrecht court is set to preside over an emergency hearing on Thursday afternoon over leaked budgetary figures. On Tuesday, RTL published prematurely disclosed figures about purchasing power which were scheduled to be publicly announced on Prinsjesdag.

Prinsjesdag, the Netherlands' budget day, falls on September 16 this year.

The figures released exposed that many Dutch people will continue to receive lower benefits, higher taxes and fewer subsidies. Sole earners with children with an median income will go backwards 9.5 percent in purchasing power, while those earning twice the average will feel like they are earning 8.2 percent less, RTL reported.

Prime Minister Rutte has maintained that he sees no reason to depart from the agreement made by both Chambers to release the budget documents on Prinsjesdag. Rutte also acknowledges that it is almost impossible to prevent leaks of budget figures.

CDA MP Pieter Omtzigt has called the leaks unfair, saying that the media should not receive information before the opposition does. “If Members of Parliament leak the budget, they get suspended. If the coalition leaks, there is no sanction. So it leaks; it rains figures and plans.”

The court will begin the hearing at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday.