Dutch gov't tax plans to focus on helping prospective homeowners, low-income households

The coalition parties in the Rutte III government reached broad agreements on the focus of the Netherlands' tax plans for next year. Low- and middle-income households must see an improvement in their purchasing power. And it must become easier for people starting out on the housing market to find a home, NOS reports.

"We have taken further steps on our way to Prinsjesdag", Prime Minister and VVD leader Mark Rutte said after an hours long meeting between the coalition parties and the Ministry of Finance, which ended at around midnight on Thursday. 

The Ministers and party leaders of the VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie did not want to say more about their plans, all referring to Prinsjesdag - Budget Day in English, the day on which the government budget for the next year is announced, held on the third Thursday of September.

"We have come a long way. We want to make homes accessible for starters, that looks good to everyone", D66 leader Rob Jetten said. Though he added that the Council of Ministers will have the final say.

The government's tax plan needs to be submitted to the Council of State today, so it can be checked in time for Budget Day. It will be discussed in the Council of Ministers, which is meeting this morning, according to RTL Nieuws. 

The Ministers did not want to say anything about leaked plans for a special fund for major investments in infrastructure and scientific research in the coming years. De Telegraaf reported on Thursday that the government plans to put around 50 billion euros of loaned money into this fund, which must act as a guarantee for economic growth. 

The fact that the plan leaked to the press resulted in mutual resentment among the coalition parties, political reporter Arjan Noorlander said to NOS. "Because it was on the street, they got into a fight about it. Now they're avoiding the topic."

On Thursday Statistics Netherlands reported that fewer construction permits for new homes were issued in the second quarter of this year, raising concerns about whether the government target of 75 thousand new homes per year can be met. Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs also said in a letter to parliament that especially people with mid-level incomes who want to live in cities have difficulty in finding a suitable home. 

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