Despite economic setbacks that threaten from the Brexit and United States president Donald Trump's trade wars, this is a logical time to give "something back" to the Dutch, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said about the budget and the government's plans for next year, NU.nl reports.
King Willem-Alexander kicked off the parliamentary year with his annual Prinsjesdag speech on Tuesday. Everyone in the Netherlands should feel the improving economy, the King said. He also spoke about fighting crime, making sustainable energy accessible to everyone and fighting poverty and improving infrastructure in the Dutch Antilles, according to NU.nl's live blog on Budget Day.
"The foundations of our prosperity are strong, but they are no guarantee for future economic prosperity", is the message Minister Wopke Hoekstra of Finance will give at the presentation of the first Budget Memorandum of the Rutte III government on Tuesday, NOS reports.
According to Hoekstra, the government wants the Dutch people to feel that things are going well with the economy. At the same time he warns against economic headwinds that may be caused by the Brexit and trade disputes started by US president Donald Trump.
Budget Day is attracting more people to the city center of The Hague than it did last year. Around noon there were already around 90 thousand people waiting for the Royals to arrive in their Glass Carriage. The atmosphere is pleasant, according to the police, NU.nl reports.
The municipality of The Hague expects that there is more enthusiasm for Prinsjesdag this year due to the nice weather. The day is sunny and warm, but with a strong breeze.
The VVD posted a video on Twitter on Tuesday showcasing the outfits and hats to be worn by prominent party members on Budget Day. It was largely met with criticism. "Do you really have nothing better to do?" one Twitter user wanted to know.
The video features, among others, Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs, State Secretary Tamara van Ark of Social Affairs and parliamentarian Ockje Tellengen. "Budget Day... plans, figures, millions... But above all: the political catwalk!" the party wrote with the video.
The first fans of the Dutch Royal Family started gathering in front of the Noordeinde Palace in The Hague from 5:30 a.m. this morning, wanting to get the best places to see the King and Queen drive by in the Glass Carriage this afternoon and later wave from the balcony, NU.nl reports.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte wants to appoint a "designated survivor" - a Minister that won't attend large gatherings like Budget Day in the future, so that there is someone who can run the country should an extreme emergency suddenly arise - he said in a proposal to the Tweede Kamer, ANP reports.
The police searched multiple addresses in the Netherlands on Monday, looking for Erwin L., a man who threw a votive candle holder at the Golden Carriage on Budget Day 2010. With this year's Budget Day happening today, the police don't know where he is, AT5 and RTL Nieuws report.
The D66 wants to follow the American example in appointing two 'designated survivors' for events and meetings where all Dutch politicians and the King and Queen come together, like Budget Day. This would involve appointing a Minister and parliamentarian to stay in a secret, secure location during such an event, so that they can take power should it happen that all other government leaders are killed or seriously injured in a terrorist attack or other disaster, NOS reports
A total of 905 thousand people tuned in to watch the live broadcast of Budget Day on Tuesday, fewer than in previous years, according to figures from Stichting KijkOnderzoek, NU.nl reports.
Last year 962 thousand people watched Budget Day on TV. In 2015 there were 1.2 million watchers and 983 thousand in 2014.
In 2013, King Willem-Alexander's first Budget Day, a massive 1.5 million people watched the Budget Day live broadcast, making it the best watched Budget Day broadcast in a decade.
Twelve year old Haci Nuh stole the show in his role as Mini-Minister of Finance when Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem delivered the suitcase with next year's budget to the Tweede Kamer on Tuesday. Shrouded in a suit and black sneakers, Haci from Rotterdam shadowed Dijsselbloem throughout the entire Budget Day. He was in the Ridderzaal for the King's speech, went on interviews with the Minister and to the Tweede Kamer to discuss te budget, the Telegraaf reports.
On Tuesday King Willem-Alexander opened the Netherlands' parliamentary year with his traditional Budget Day speech. He talked about the devastation Hurricane Irma left of the Caribbean islands that form part of the Dutch Kingdom, terrorism around the world, the prosecution of those responsible for the MH17 disaster, and making sure that everyone in the Netherlands benefits from the improving economy, among other things.
From 2018, the Netherlands is reserving money for prosecuting those responsible for the downing of flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine in July 2014, Dutch King Willem-Alexander revealed in his Budget Day speech on Tuesday afternoon.
Avid fans of the Dutch Royals braved the early morning cold and mist to make sure they have a good spot along the route the Dutch King and Queen will take from Noordeinde Palace to the Ridderzaal in The Hague for Budget Day. The first spectators arrived at the palace at 6:30 a.m on Tuesday, according to ANP.
As the time for the Rutte II cabinet to hand over to a new government approaches, the confidence the Dutch public has in the departing government increases. The VVD and PvdA government hasn't enjoyed as much confidence from the voters since its inauguration in 2012, according to EenVandaag's Budget Day poll. The same goes for Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
Today is the last Budget Day for the departing Rutte II cabinet. In tradition and ceremony, the day is expected to look like every other Budget Day, with politicians decked out in fancy hats, the Royals arriving at the Ridderzaal in The Hague in a carriage and the famous balcony scene after the throne speech. But given the current VVD and PvdA government's departing status, no big news is expected in the budget. Big changes are left up to the new government.
Almost two thirds of Dutch think that Budget Day is a valuable tradition, according to a study by HR service provider Raet among 1,000 Dutch people. However, two out of three respondents think that Budget Day is completely unnecessary this year, RTL Nieuws reports.
The Hague is putting extra security measures in place for Budget Day next week, paying particular attention to preventing terrorist attacks with vehicles, a spokesperson for the municipality confirmed to NU.nl.
Dutch food and consumer product safety authority NVWA will get an extra 25 million euros next year due to concerns about the authority's capacity following the fipronil contaminated egg scandal, according to RTL Nieuws. The government will announce this extra investment on Budget Day, sources told the broadcaster.
This extra 25 million euros comes on top of the NVWA's current budget of over 300 million euros. According to RTL, the money will be used to hire more food inspectors and to replace outdated computer equipment.
The health insurance premium and mandatory own risk contribution will increase further in the coming years, newspaper Telegraaf and news wire ANP report based on anonymous sources.
The VVD and PvdA may have found a solution to resolving their disagreement about increasing teachers' salaries in the budget for next year, VVD chairman Halbe Zijlstra said before entering the second round of budget talks at the Ministry of Finance on Wednesday afternoon, AD reports.
Exactly what this solution is, he did not say. "We're now going to see if it really is a solution", Zijlstra said to the newspaper.
The negotiations on forming a new Dutch government will happen outside The Hague on Thursday and Friday. The VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie will be meeting on De Zwaluwenberg in Hilversum, the workplace of the Inspector General of the Armed Forces, for those two days, NOS reports.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte understands why his cabinet scores badly with the Dutch public, he said during the second day of the Budget Debate in response to an Ipsos study that showed the government gets an "insufficient" grade of only 5.3. While the economy is recovering, the average person in the Netherlands isn't yet noticing in their wallet that the financial crisis is over