New cost of living calculations urgently needed, say Dutch MP’s
Members of Parliament want the Central Planning Bureau (CPB) to provide new calculations about the development of the cost of living in the Netherlands before Prinsjesdag, the date in September when the budget is made public for the upcoming year. Tweede Kamer parliamentarian Pieter Omtzigt put forward the initiative, which was joined by seventeen political factions.
They have submitted a request for the macro-economic planning office to carry out the analysis in a letter to Minister of Economic Affairs Micky Adriaansens. Omtzigt believes that the Cabinet is not paying enough attention to high inflation, which he called "the biggest crisis since the Second World War."
In June, the CPB released its latest report about the development of the prices which people pay, but that calculation is already outdated on a number of points. Those calling for the new analysis pointed to gas prices. The period that the CPB analyzed showed that the price increased by seven times, but it will have grown ten-fold if the CPB extended their research to the present day.
Electricity and groceries have also become much more expensive than anticipated. Omtzigt wants "the extent of the problem" to be clear before Prinsjesdag. The budget presentation and speech from King Willem-Alexander will this year fall on 20 September, as the day is traditionally on the third Tuesday every September.
"This is an unprecedented disaster that is coming our way," said Omtzigt. "If you don't solve this, the rug will be ripped out from under people,” threatening their livability. He believes that the government is too quick to say that little can be done to impact the cost increases, and he doubts whether the scale of the problems caused by these increases is well understood by political leaders.
"The Cabinet has not checked whether the measures are sufficient to keep people above the subsistence level," Omtzigt said. He fears that large numbers of people will end up in debt as a result, with stress and mental health consequences as a result. "Something has to happen."
Omtzigt's request was supported by the entire opposition, and one MP from a coalition party: Pieter Grinwis of ChristenUnie.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times