The 2022 Dutch budget in a nutshell
The Dutch Cabinet laid out its vision for the 2022 budget for the Netherlands on Tuesday. The presentation took place on Prinsjesdag, which falls annually on the third Tuesday of September. The highlight of the day was a speech by King Willem-Alexander, who this year not only spoke about the state of the country from his perspective, but who also criticized his own Cabinet for their role in several high-profile scandals and issues in the country.
That was followed by Cabinet ministers releasing their plans for next year, which will be hotly debated in Parliament. As is tradition in the run-up to the day, a number of plans were already leaked to the press before the budget was officially presented. Sources told various Dutch media outlets that 1 billion euros will be pushed into building more affordable homes, some 7 billion euros will go towards lowering CO2 emissions, a total of 860 million euros per year will go towards fighting crime, 300 million euros will be pushed into digitization, and Defense will get an extra 100 million euros.
For the second year in a row, Prinsjesdag looked a great deal different than it normally would as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of thousands of people gathering on the streets of The Hague to see the King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima parade by in a carriage, and watch parliamentarians, Senators and Ministers show off their outfits, especially their hats, people were emphatically told not to come to The Hague on Tuesday. The Royals were driven to the king's speech in the Grote Kerk by car, and screens were placed around the building to discourage any crowds from forming and risking potential coronavirus outbreaks.
The most important budget decisions for 2022, alphabetically per ministry:
- The ministry's budget will increase permanently by 95 million euros from 2022.
- A one-time budgetary increase of 60 million euros will go towards the purchase of ammunition.
- A one-time budgetary increase of 30 million euros will go towards veterans care.
- Structural increase of an extra 20 million euros annually will go towards supporting veterans.
- Military intelligence service MIVD will see their annual budget rise by an extra 15 million euros.
- Roughly 6.8 billion euros will be invested in cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Almost half of this will be earmarked for subsidies to be spent on green energy investments, sustainability, and technologies which can reduce carbon emissions.
- A 1.3 billion euro boost will go towards energy infrastructure.
- Companies participating in European projects related to microchip technology and cloud infrastructure will have access to 300 million euros in subsidies.
- The large investment of 8.5 billion euros to tackle backlogs caused by coronavirus over the next two years, which was previously announced.
- Teacher grant programs will be expanded by an additional 60 million euros.
- Some 226 million euros in tax relief for people with a low income, families and families with one breadwinner.
Foreign Affairs: Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation
- The budget next year will rise by 6.6 percent to nearly 3.3 billion euros.
- Some 595 million euros is earmarked for developing countries to make adaptations related to climate change.
- 69.5 million is intended to improve education in developing countries, which is almost 10 million more than this year.
Health, Welfare and Sport
- Healthcare costs in the Netherlands in 2022 will total 100 billion euros.
- Next year, 2.1 billion euros will be earmarked for the fight against coronavirus, including vaccines, testing, and source and contact research.
- To be better prepared for upcoming pandemics, 22 million euros will be available next year.
- Some 5 million euros will be earmarked annually to build up a national care reserve for crisis situations.
- 63.5 million euros will be made available next year to encourage employers to offer more medical traineeships and internships.
- The Cabinet is counting on a premium increase for the basic insurance of 2.75 euros per month. This will bring the monthly total price to approximately 121.25 euros. The increase will be offset for people with lower incomes who will see an increase in the health care allowance of 3 euros per month. The minimum deductible will remain 385 euros.
- The 113 suicide prevention hotline will be supported from a 5.5 million euro allocation of funds.
Interior and Kingdom Relations
- An extra 1.3 billion euros will go to the municipalities with which they can make up for shortfalls in youth care in 2022. That is on top of the 300 million euros already allocated.
- Over the next three years, 1.3 billion euros is earmarked for making social housing buildings more sustainable, and for better insulation in owner-occupied and rental homes. The money is part of the 6.8 billion euros that the Cabinet is allocating for the climate approach.
- An extra 1 billion euros will be spent to build more homes faster.
- Because government spending is increasing, municipalities will receive a total of almost 1.5 billion euros.
- Provincial governments will receive a total of 127 million euros.
- The AIVD domestic intelligence service can invest an extra 15 million euros in technological innovation, and will further investigate right-wing extremism.
Justice and Security
- An extra 434 million euros annually will be spent on tackling serious organized crime, and to make society and the economy more resilient. This will be bolstered by an additional 90 million euros just in 2022.
- Attorneys such as public defenders will receive higher compensation for their work. Some 154 million euros will be made available for this.
- An additional 154 million euros will be structurally added from next year for the improvement and expansion of prisons and other judicial institutions.
- Most households will hardly improve according to the purchasing power projections. Disposable income will remain about the same for most groups, despite the expected economic growth next year.
- Single earners will see a decrease in spending power despite over 225 million euros in tax cuts.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times.