Dutch spending extra €1.2 billion on Defense, elderly & disabled in 2017

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The ruling coalition of VVD and PvdA reached an agreement on spending 1.2 billion euros next year on reversing scheduled cuts. The PvdA negotiated for reversing a cutback back on elderly- and disabled care and pushing money into education. The VVD fought for spending money on security by filling holes in the Defense and Security and Justice budgets, NOS reports.

Each of the parties got 600 million euros to push into the budgets of their choice. The PvdA opted for scrapping 500 million euros in planned cuts on care in nursing homes and disabled institutions. The party is giving the Ministry of Public Health 400 million euros, and the Ministry itself is contributing the other 100 million. State Secretary Martin van Rijn confirmed these amounts on Monday.

"Care for our elderly and disabled people and the work of there carers are very valuable. They deserve our full support. Therefore we will continue with the investments started last year and put an end to cuts in long-term care." Van Rijn said. "Now that the Netherlands is doing better, our elderly and disabled must also notice. The cutback of half a billion will therefore not go through. We are done with cutbacks and ready for the future."

The government's plans to cutback on long-term care in the coming years led to strong criticism on Van Rijn from opposition parties, trade associations and the Court of Audit.

The Labour party also decided to put its remaining 200 million euros into education. The party was shocked by a critical report about the growing inequality between children from low- and highly educated parents. Some of the money will also go into education for child asylum seekers.

Coalition partner VVD is investing "its" 600 million euros in security, both at home and abroad. The Ministry of Security and Justice is getting 300 million euros to fill holes in the police budget, in the Public Prosecution Service, the judiciary and the prison system. And the Ministry of Defense is getting the same amount. Sources in The Hague told the Volkskrant that the money is not intended for new weapons, but to get the struggling organization back in order.

By investing in these much talked about problem budgets, the ruling coalition seems to have secured its survival until the election next year. The budget will officially be revealed on Prinsjesdag in September.

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