Another €50 billion in cuts possible says Finance Ministry
There are possibilities for the next government to make another 50 billion euros in cuts, according to the "menu" the Ministry of Finance sent to all political groups in parliament in strict confidence, but the Volkskrant managed to get hold of. This document is called a "menu" because all political parties will pick and choose from it in the coming months in preparation for their election programs for the 2017 elections, according to the newspaper. All ministries collaborated on the document. The menu consists of 400 cutback possibilities, ranging from promising to doubtful. The list includes options such as abolishing the 2.5 billion euro tax advantage for freelancers. Or abolishing the 5 euro per GP visit excess, which will bring in 575 million. The PVV's proposal to restrict the development cooperation budget to "emergencies" only, which would save 3.6 billion euros in 2021, is also in the list. As is Pim Fortuyn's idea of scrapping the army, saving 750 million euros in 2021. The new government can do one of two things with the money saved from these cutbacks: spend it or other things or use it to pay off some of the national debt. Should the next government implement all 400 cuts and use the money only to get the public finances in order, then they will have the largest surplus on the state budget in postwar history, according to the newspaper.