The reactions on the Prinsjesdag throne speech and 2016 budget reveal are casting a shadow on the cabinet's optimism. The government's message on Tuesday was very positive - the Netherlands is doing better. But the Dutch newspapers are much more hesitant on Wednesday.
The Netherlands is emerging from the crisis stronger. Things are going better than expected, but still not good enough, according to Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem while presenting the Budget Memorandum to the Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament. As per tradition, Dijsselbloem presented the Budget in the same briefcase his predecessor Lieftinck used to present the budget in 1946 after World War II. Dijsselbloem called the briefcase "a small symbol of recovery".
Prinsjesdag 2015 kicked off in the Netherlands on Tuesday with the Golden Carriage taking off from Palace Noordeinde at 1:00 p.m., bringing the Royal couple to the Ridderzaal so that King Willem-Alexander can give his third budget day throne speech. The increasing tensions on the borders of Europe and its impact on the continent and the Netherlands formed an important part of the King's speech. He emphasized the need of a "fair asylum policy" to combat human trafficking.
The police unions are once again protesting for a better collective bargaining agreement on Tuesday. Many police stations across the country will be closed between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. During that time the officers will be watching footage of Prinsjesdag events to find out whether the government has put more money aside for their salaries, according to the unions.
Prime minister Mark Rutte says he simply see’s no value in conducting a criminal investigation into the recent leaked confidential budget information for Prinjesdag. According to the Prime Minister, such an investigation would be "as expensive as it would be fruitless".
The D66 has come up with a shadow tax plan to the one that the cabinet will be presenting at the Prinsjesdag ceremony later today. According to party leader Alexander Pechtold, their way of investing the 5 billion euros in tax cuts the cabinet has planned is "smarter and cleaner" and will create twice as many jobs as the cabinet plan.
SP leader Emile Roemer wants to reduce VAT from 21 percent to 19 percent. He feels that the sales tax increase in 2012 was at the expense of small and medium sized businesses - the job engine of the Dutch economy.
The safety of the Dutch society and police officers themselves will be put in danger if any further cuts are made to the National Police. More cutbacks will make a number of police activities impossible to perform.
The Netherlands is back among the economic leaders in Europe, but we must stay sober. The better figures does not mean that everyone in the Netherlands is profiting. Unrest abroad also has consequences for the Netherlands. The Netherlands has to prepare for the arrival of more refugees. Keep track. The plan for next year is that employment, purchasing power and growth reach more people.
All parties in the Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament, are delighted that the government has earmarked more money for childcare. The government can therefore count on broad parliamentary support for the increased child care allowance.
Consumers in the Netherlands can expect to soon pay more for juice, soft drinks and bottled water. The tax on these items will increase by 30 million euros, an increase of 15 percent compared to last year