Budget deadline approaches; govt. still clashing on teacher salaries

Lodewijk Asscher (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commons)Lodewijk Asscher (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commons)

It's D-day for the VVD and PvdA government. The 2018 budget must be finalized today, so that it can be submitted to the Council of State on Thursday, but the parties are still clashing over salary increases for teachers, the Telegraaf reports.

PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher previously stated that if the budget does not include salary increases for teachers, the PvdA will not sign it. Last week the departing government seemed to reach a compromise, in which 270 million euros will go towards increasing teachers' salaries like the PvdA wants, and in return the VVD can push more money into Defense. But the parties currently negotiating forming a new government together - VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie - turned out to be reluctant to give the go ahead for this plan.

The VVD now does not want to agree on a concrete sum for increasing teachers' salaries, but told the PvdA that it may be possible that the four formation parties may get to an amount before or shortly after Budget Day, according to the Telegraaf. The PvdA would not accept this. Asscher proposed drawing up a budget with and without a concrete amount - and the applicable one can later be finalized. But the VVD found this impossible. 

Today it will become clear whether the Rutte II government - the longest serving government since World War II - will collapse on this issue.