The parliamentary debate on the national budget on Thursday was apparently not exciting enough to keep the attention of all those present. Ministers Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security and Cora van Nieuwenhuizen of Infrastructure and Water Management were caught watching football while Prime Minister Mark Rutte spoke.
Most households will be a bit better off next year, the Budget Day figures predict. And while this is indeed the case, it is mainly the rich who benefit from it, RTL Nieuws reports based on its own research into the incomes of different income groups.
The net wage of Dutch employees with an average income will increase by around 50 euros per month next year, according to calculations by payslip company Visma Raet based on figures released on Budget Day on Tuesday, RTL Z reports.
Increase corporate income tax and the tax on the wealthy to pay for higher wages and a lower workloads in the public sector, left-wing opposition parties GroenLinks, SP and PvdA proposed in a counter-budget to the national budget the Rutte III government presented on Tuesday. "We show that you can make different choices with the same money", SP leader Lilian Marijnessen said to NOS.
The ruling cabinet in the Netherlands outlined a plan for 2020 that includes an extra 350 million euros to respond to problems on the housing market, 300 million euros to tackle issues related to youth care, and 134 million euros on asylum procedures and migration. Minister Wopke Hoekstra of Finance presented the Rutte III government's budget for next year to the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, on Tuesday.
The Dutch economy is strong and the outlook for next year remains positive, but risks are looming from abroad, Dutch King Willem-Alexander said in his Budget Day speech for 2019.
"A strong economy is needed to further build on a strong Netherlands", King Willem-Alexander started his speech on Tuesday. The outlook for next year remains, positive, but the reality is that the growth will level out in the coming years. "Our economy is sensitive to international developments such as trade wars and the Brexit", the King warned.
In addition to the King’s speech and the government announcing its budget for next year, another big part of Budget Day is the so-called hat parade - seeing what outfits the Dutch politicians decided to wear to the official opening of the parliamentary year.
King Willem-Alexander is dressed in a jacket and gray vest, with the Ridder Militaire Willems-Orde badge. Queen Maxima is wearing a ruby red column gown with a cape and velor pillbox hat.
Coalition parties CDA and D66 are angry with VVD Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs because he revealed information from the King's Budget Day speech and the government's budget a day before Budget Day. Prime Minister Mark Rutte received three requests from coalition partners to reprimand Wiebes, AD reports.
At 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday the Rutte III government will present its budget for next year. But as every year, a number of the government's plans already leaked to the press. Here follows a summary of what we know so far, compiled by NOS and RTL Nieuws.
Today is Budget Day, or Prinsjesdag, in the Netherlands. This is the official opening of the parliamentary year. King Willem-Alexander will give a speech and the government will present its budget plans for next year. Here's what to expect.
Any money left over in the government's budget should first be spent on raising the salaries of people in the public sector, addressing the housing shortage and getting more police officers on the street, according to a poll conducted by Ipsos on behalf of NOS for Budget Day 2019. Only once all that is done, should budget surpluses be used to pay off State debt, the respondents said.
Large and medium-sized cities in the Netherlands will face a total budget shortage of around 500 million euros in the next four years, according to the G40, a network of the Netherlands' 40 largest municipalities. Cuts to public facilities are inevitable, Paul Depla, mayor of Breda and chairman of the G40, said to newspaper AD.
Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs will be the 'designated survivor' this Budget Day. He will not be in the Netherlands next week Thursday and will not attend the King's Budget Day speech in the Ridderzaal, NOS reports.
The Dutch government will announce multiple measures aimed at tackling the housing shortage on Budget Day. A fund of 1 billion euros in subsidies will be created for municipalities starting new building projects, and housing corporations who build new homes will receive up to a billion euros in tax discounts. First-time homeowners may also be exempt from transfer tax, the Volkskrant reports based on sources.
Health insurance premiums in the Netherlands will increase slightly next year, by around 3 euros per month. A basic health insurance policy will cost nearly 40 euros more per year, the government will announce on Budget Day, AD reports based on sources in The Hague.
The coalition parties in the Rutte III government reached broad agreements on the focus of the Netherlands' tax plans for next year. Low- and middle-income households must see an improvement in their purchasing power. And it must become easier for people starting out on the housing market to find a home, NOS reports.
"We have taken further steps on our way to Prinsjesdag", Prime Minister and VVD leader Mark Rutte said after an hours long meeting between the coalition parties and the Ministry of Finance, which ended at around midnight on Thursday.
The Dutch government plans to set up a fund containing billions of euros as a buffer to guarantee economic growth in the Netherlands, the Telegraaf reports based on sources. The amount to go in this fund has not yet been decided, but according to the newspaper, the amount of 50 billion euros is circulating on the Binnenhof.
After a nice summer break, the Dutch government is back at work. The Ministers will meet for the first time again on Friday, to catch up on current affairs under the leadership of Prime Minister Mark Rutte during the Council of Ministers, Hart van Nederland reports.
The only Minister still on holiday is Ferdinand Grapperhaus, who stood in for Rutte during the summer and still has some vacation days to catch up on.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte delayed the publication of the planning offices' climate agreement calculations until after Budget Day, because he thought a debate about the climate would be "undesirable" at this point, Nieuwsuur reports based on documents it received by appealing to the Government Information Act. Opposition parties in parliament are outraged and want a quick explanation from Rutte about the pressure he exerted on the planning offices to delay this publication, NOS reports.
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.