Dutch budget to include billions for environment issues, €500m to fight organized crime
This article was expanded as more information became available
The Dutch Cabinet is expected to allocate another 6 to 7 billion euros to reduce CO2 emissions. About a half-billion will also be used to fight crimes which undermine society. The two plans are the first initiatives to leak out in advance of Prinsjesdag, when the Cabinet presents its proposed budget for the upcoming year.
This was decided during the budget negotiations that were concluded on Monday. Political insiders confirmed the plans to ANP after it was reported by De Telegraaf. The plans will be announced on Prinsjesdag, which falls on September 21 this year.
The billions of euros to tackle emissions reduction will mainly be spent in the form of subsidies. In some cases these may be used to stimulate sustainable energy production for companies.
It was already known that something would be done to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, but the amount of money allocated was unknown. Left-wing parties have been urging the Cabinet for some time to work on this more quickly, also because of the verdict in the Urgenda lawsuit against the State.
According to the ruling in the case brought by environmental movement Urgenda, the Cabinet must reduce CO2 emissions by a quarter compared to 1990. Parties from both the opposition and the ruling coalition had called on State Secretary Dilan Yesilgöz to come up with a plan before the summer, but she indicated that she needed more time.
The money set aside to reduce emissions will, in part, go towards existing subsidies for both businesses and individuals. There are no plans yet to close an additional coal-fired power station.
No decision will be made on Budget Day about measures to further reduce nitrogen emissions. This will be up to the next Cabinet, sources say. A proposal for the longer term to create more space for housing within nitrogen emissions reduction plans is already being examined. Such a proposal could also be employed by the parties which form the next Cabinet
Half-billion to tackle undermining criminality
Roughly 500 million euros will also be earmarked annually to combat, among other things, subversive crime. Part of the money will be invested in improving the monitoring and security system.
Justice Minister Ferd Grapperhaus had previously alluded to needing extra money to better tackle organized crime. The Tweede Kamer also supports that concept.
A committee is currently investigating the systems for monitoring and protection, including their use for people under threat. In addition, the Dutch Safety Board (OVV) is investigating the security of journalist Peter R. de Vries, who was shot dead in July after recording an edition of RTL Boulevard for broadcast on television.
Reporting by ANP