Higher deficit acceptable for Groningen safety, tax cuts: Labour

PvdA leader Diederik Samsom is willing to let the government deficit increase for the safety of Groningen or for tax cuts, he said in an interview Wednesday Het Parool reports.

A new tax system should allow the tax cuts. The CDA and D66 want to make more cutbacks to reduce the burden for citizens. The Cabinet is against this because it would have a negative effect on the nascent recovery. Last week both Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher (Social Affairs, PvdA) and Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem (Finance, PvdA) said that further cutbacks would be irresponsible, with Dijsselbloem going so far as to call it "nonsensical" and "unnecessary".

Samsom now states that he is willing to let the deficit for next year increase from 1.2 percent to 1.9 percent. With that percentage "you are back on the path that we initially agreed on with the VVD". "If the budget deficit has to rise, then so be it," he said. According to Samsom, the safety of Groningen stands "above all".

The decrease in gas extraction in Groningen has been a blow to the government's gas revenues. The lower extraction must ensure fewer earthquakes in the province. So far this year the Cabinet has missed out on 1.5 to 2 billion euros because of the reduced gas extraction and lower gas prices, Dijsselbloem said on Pauw last week. The deficits can still be absorbed in the budget because of the decline in the government deficit.

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