Everyone should benefit from improving Dutch economy, King says in Budget Day speech

King Willem-Alexander gives his Prinsjesdag speech in the Ridderzaal in The Hague, 18 Sept 2018
King Willem-Alexander gives his Prinsjesdag speech in the Ridderzaal in The Hague, 18 Sept 2018. (Photo: Tweede Kamer)

King Willem-Alexander kicked off the parliamentary year with his annual Prinsjesdag speech on Tuesday.  Everyone in the Netherlands should feel the improving economy, the King said. He also spoke about fighting crime, making sustainable energy accessible to everyone and fighting poverty and improving infrastructure in the Dutch Antilles, according to NU.nl's live blog on Budget Day.

"At moments like this we realize how strong the country is that we have built", the King started his speech. "Strong though the availability of healthcare, education and a roof above our heads. The government wants to make the economy even stronger... It is time to make new choices, more people must feel that things are going well, that politicians are for everyone."

"Building a close-knit society affects everyone in our country", the King said, highlighting some of the questions that exist among the population. "We can not accept that people with problematic debts and a growing number of young drifters end up on the edge of society."

"For the strength of society, it is positive that people get more to spend. Wages rise, people can get a job again and the modernization of the tax system makes it pay to work again. On balance, households will have more left over in the coming years."

"A major problem is the overheated housing market... The government is working to catch up on the construction of homes, with the ambition to build 75 thousand extra houses per year."

"The extra amount for elderly care increases to 3 billion euros in the coming years", the King said. New agreements have been made with the various parties involved to implement changes in healthcare. 

"The fight against growing crime requires more attention, more than eleven hundred extra officers will be hired", the King said, referring to growing drug crime in the south of the country. 

King Willem-Alexander also spoke about making cleaner energy sources "feasible and affordable for everyone". Money was also set aside to fight poverty and improve infrastructure in the Netherlands Antilles. 

The King mentioned the deployment of Dutch soldiers abroad. This is of great value to international world order, he said. 

"It is in the Dutch interest that Europe continues to strive for free trade. The Dutch government will continue to pursue a stronger EU with a positive agenda."

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