Most important points from the National Budget for 2017
On Tuesday Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem of Finance handed next year's budget to parliament. In his Budget Day speech he emphasized that the past years were hard times, but the Netherlands built itself back up. The fourth budget for the Rutte II cabinet shows that there is a strong foundation to build on and that the Netherlands is in a better position than a few years ago, the Volkskrant reports.
Here follows the important points on the budget per Ministry.
- 1.1 billion euros is going towards cancelling out impending loss of purchasing power, especially among pensioners and people living on welfare benefits.
- Single parents with low income will see the biggest increase in purchasing power - plus 12.8 percent
- an additional 100 million euros a year will be allocated to children growing up in poor families. The money will be used for sports, school trips and music lessons, among other things.
Security and Justice
- The Security and Justice budget will structurally get 450 million euros extra per year from 2017. 221 million euros of that will go to the police. Another 10 million euros will go to local policemen
- 20 million euros will be earmarked to increase security on the Netherlands' borders and improve checks on migrants
- 10 million euros is available for counterterrorism. This amount will increase to 22 million euros in 2019
- The Public Prosecutor is getting an additional 13 million euros, increasing to 19 million euros in 2019. The money is intended for tackling cybercrime, among other things
- The judiciary is getting 35 million euros extra a year
Public Health, Welfare and Sports
- From April next year, all pregnant women can take a NIP test to find out if their unborn child has Down's syndrome or other congenital conditions, though an own contribution of 175 euros will be applicable. 26 million euros was set aside for this test
- Planned cutbacks of 500 million euros on healthcare in nursing homes and institutions for disabled people will not go trough. Instead an extra 200 million euros will be made available for long-term care to elderly, chronically ill and disabled people.
- The own risk health insurance deductible will not increase, remaining at 385 euros next year
- The government is allocating 50 million euros to lowering the own contribution for healthcare and support for chronically ill and disabled people
- An extra 180 million euros will be allocated to local nursing
- And 30 million euros extra a year will be going to caring for mentally disturbed and confused people
- Next year an additional 300 million euros will be added to the total Defense budget of nearly 8.7 billion euros. 197 million euros of that will be allocated to the basic readiness of the armed forces
- 1.5 billion euros will be invested into material, including ammunition, and training
- From January 1st the Netherlands and Belgium will be guarding the Benelux airspace together. The Ministry is also talking with Germany and France on further cooperation in airspace monitoring
- Next year 5 million euros is going towards conflict prevention and combating violent extremism abroad
- The Ministry will also focus on the Netherlands temporary membership of the UN Security Council
- And an European approach to migration remains a priority
Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation
- 417 million euros will be allocated to fighting HIV/AIDS and to give women more rights in sexual matters, for example through contraceptives. Another 54 million euros is earmarked for improving women's rights
- 384 million euros is going towards giving people more food security
- 195 million euros is going towards water projects
- And 10 million euros is going towards improving Dutch trade abroad
Infrastructure and Environment
- The Ministry is getting nearly 5.9 billion euros extra next year for new infrastructure and the maintenance of existing roads. Another 905 million euros is available for the Delta FUnd
- Improving public transport further remains a priority
- The maximum grant exemption for paying for your own home is again 100 thousand euros, at the condition that the recipient of the grant is between the ages of 18 and 40 years old
- Housing allowance is increasing next year with 10,50 euros for almost everyone
- People who live in social housing, but can afford more, may see an additional rent increase
Education, Culture and Science
- 200 million euros is going towards improved education
- 15 million euros is allocated to educating child asylum seekers
- Arts and culture is getting 10 million euros extra per year, 3 million of which will be spent on festivals
The entire budget can be seen here