Dutch economy grew more than gov't debt in 2021
Government debt amounted to 52.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) last year, down from 54.3 percent. The government dept fell relative to the GDP because the economy grew faster than the debt in 2021. In absolute numbers, the debt increased to 448 billion euros, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reported. The government's budget deficit fell from 3.7 to 2.5 percent of the GDP.
The Dutch government saw its income increase by 25 billion euros to 337 billion euros last year. People spent more in the second year of the coronavirus crisis than in 2020, which increased the government's VAT revenues by 6 billion euros. The government also made 9 billion euros from corporate income tax. Non-tax revenues increased mainly due to higher natural gas revenues - gas prices spiked from the second quarter of last year.
Government expenditures rose by 18 billion euros, so more slowly than revenues. The government spent money on the coronavirus pandemic, paying for Covid-19 tests, vaccinations, and call centers. But subsidies for coronavirus support measures decreased somewhat in 2021. Wage support for companies that lost turnover due to coronavirus restrictions fell in particular.
The European standard is for member states' budget deficit to be no higher than 3 percent and government debt no higher than 60 percent. The Netherlands came in below both those limits last year.