Next year's budget leaked: sober optimism the message
The Netherlands is back among the economic leaders in Europe, but we must stay sober. The better figures does not mean that everyone in the Netherlands is profiting. Unrest abroad also has consequences for the Netherlands. The Netherlands has to prepare for the arrival of more refugees. Keep track. The plan for next year is that employment, purchasing power and growth reach more people.
In broad strokes, that is what the government will tell the Netherlands on Prinsjesdag, according to the strategy document written by the communication staff of the Rijksvoorlichtingsdienst, which RTL Nieuws managed to get their hands on. The ministers are discussing the documents today. The document instructs them to "sell" their plans as well as possible.
"In recent years the government has taken many necessary steps to get the government finances in order and strengthen the economy. As a result, the Netherlands is now doing better. The measures have however asked for many sacrifices. Now that the economy is improving, the government wants the Dutch people to also notice it." according to the document.
The document also states that the government believes that the economy can grow more than Statistics Netherlands predicted for the coming years. But the Netherlands has to remain sober. Because 80 percents of households are seeing improvements, and that means that one in five is not. Unemployment has declined to 6.7 percent, but too many people are still unemployed. The economic recovery is still at the early phase and the Netherlands runs a risk due to the international crisis and the uncertainty in the world economy.
The figures in the document state that the Netherlands will have a budget deficit of 29 million euros per day. The total public debt has risen to 27 thousand euros per Dutchman. Economic growth is at 2.4 percent. Deficit for 2016 is at 1.5 percent and EMU debt is at 66.2 percent. The cabinet should however emphasize the tax cuts and the 35 thousand jobs that comes with it.
The document also includes a list of the most important measures the cabinet must point out on Budget Day. The 5 billion euros tax cut on labor. "Working people get more to spend. That's good for the economy. The PvdA must emphasize "the balanced distribution of wealth - the purchasing power for pensioners and people on benefits being repaired. Defense is getting an extra 345 million euros and 60 million euros extra for structural missions. 210 million euros is going to improve the quality of life in care institutions. Municipalities are receiving 60 million euros to ensure that every toddler can attend daycare. A total of 75 million euros will be spent on increasing paternity leave from two days to five days. The cabinet is putting 593 million euros to help deal with the influx of asylum seekers and 110 million euros to help with shelter in own regions. The capital gains tax is modified in the Tax plan. The tax free threshold is increasing to 25 thousand euros. And the cabinet has made 1.3 billion per year structurally available for the wage agreement for the public sector.
The document underline the most important messages for the ministers - they should show understanding for the effects of the budged cuts. "Many people have felt the economic crisis in their wallets. The economy is on the rise again."
Measures for the wallet includes reduction in the tax rate for the second and third bracket of around -2 percent and an extension for the third bracket. Increase in the income related combination tax credit. Intensifying child care allowance Postponement of the cuts in housing allowance. Extension of the temporary increase in health care allowances. Increase in elderly rebate by 142 euros. And the child budget is increasing by 33 euros for the 2nd child, 100 euros for the third child and 177 euros for the 4th child.
Tax measures include the 5 billion euros cuts on labor. A Low Income Benefit that makes it attractive keep people with a low income in service from 2017. Parents with young children should return to work faster through the income-related combination tax credit and the child care allowance. More support for startups and small and medium sized businesses, including a complementary action plan for SME's. Rules being simplified for entrepreneurs.
The communication officers also set up a list of priority topics the ministers are currently busy with, which they can use to defend themselves against critical questions. Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem must say that he "continues to focus on simplifying the tax system for the period after 2016". Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher of Social Affairs can use the ministry working on a future-proof pension. Interior Minister Ronald Plasterk can emphasize the AIVD systematically investing in its operational capacity. Housing Minister Stef Blok will emphasize that movement in the housing market is a top priority. Justice Minister Ard van der Steur will say that he is very busy with the modernization of the Code of Criminal Procedures. Economic Minister Henk Kamp will point out that the his offering more space for innovative entrepreneurs. Infrastructure Minister Melanie Schultz is busy with mobility and the self driving car. And Education Minister Jet Bussemaker is giving priority to vocational training.
The cabinet will also be given a list showing exactly where the Netherlands is on different research and indexes so that the ministers can immediately give the country's international position. "Together we have built one of the best countries to live in."