Blow to Dutch purchasing power almost certainly unavoidable, Rutte says
It is virtually inconceivable that the government will be able to prevent households' purchasing power from declining this year. It would be "illusory" to give guarantees about this, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in parliament in response to questions from SP leader Lilian Marijnissen.
Due to the war in Ukraine, the already high energy and fuel prices have risen much further in recent days. The government is still considering measures to minimize the consequences for citizens. But it won't achieve much more than "muting," Rutte warned.
The war has created "a really different reality, with far-reaching consequences for our part of the world," according to Rutte. Large-scale disruptions to supply lines, energy supply, and international capital movements will inevitably have an impact. "It is still difficult to foresee, but I do not rule out the possibility that it will be significant."
Marijnissen believes that the Cabinet is not living up to its promises about purchasing power. She wants to lower the tax on energy and place the bill with large companies and people with high incomes. GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver called on the Cabinet to freeze energy prices.
Rutte did not specifically address the various pleas from parliament. He referred to figures that the Central Planning Office (CPB) will publish on Wednesday, which insiders say predict a sharp decline in purchasing power. The Cabinet will analyze this as soon as possible and then discuss it with parliament.
The Cabinet is prepared to "push all the buttons to get this problem under control," Rutte said. "I already said there are no taboos." But he did not want to comment on concrete proposals from parliament or anticipate the CPB figures.
Reporting by ANP