Netherlands expects €1 billion less in EU Covid support
The Netherlands expects to receive over 1 billion euros less in European coronavirus support than previously thought, Finance Minister Sigrid Kaag wrote in a letter to parliament. The Netherlands now expects to receive 4.7 billion euros instead of the 6 billion euros the Cabinet previously assumed.
The lower amount is because the Dutch economy sustained less damage from the coronavirus crisis than initially thought - the economy shrunk by 3.8 percent instead of the assumed 5.3 percent. The final amount the Netherlands will receive partly depends on the final shrinkage figure.
The lower-than-expected amount does not immediately mean that the Cabinet should keep a tighter rein on the finances. The Cabinet will only consider the consequences in drafting the Spring Memorandum in May, Kaag said.
Kaag does not want to call it a setback. "The most important news is that we did better than we first expected in the economic field. Then this is a consequence. You cannot get a subsidy if you did relatively well."
The Minister acknowledged that the Cabinet had counted on 6 billion euros and already had a destination for that money. "Now it's a little less." But there are no budget cuts yet, she said. "In the spring, we will see how we are doing.:
This is still an estimate by the Dutch government, and it is not yet clear how much the Netherlands will ultimately receive. The final figure will not be known until the end of June.
Reporting by ANP.