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
Leaders of the opposition parties in the Netherlands reacted critically to both the National Budget for next year and the King's Budget Day speech. In the General Debate in parliament on Tuesday, the party leaders called it "bragging" and a "good news show"
The Dutch government promised to build bridges, but over the past four years gaps between groups in society is the only thing that happened, CDA leader Sybrand Buma said in an interview with newspaper AD.
On Tuesday Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem of Finance handed next year's budget to parliament. In his Budget Day speech he emphasized that the past years were hard times, but the Netherlands built itself back up. The fourth budget for the Rutte II cabinet shows that there is a strong foundation to build on and that the Netherlands is in a better position than a few years ago, the Volkskrant reports.
Here follows the full translated text of King Willem-Alexander's Budget Day speech, given in The Hague today.
The Netherlands had solid ground under the feet again in recent years. The financial and economic crisis is behind us. We live in a prosperous and attractive country, also in comparison with other countries, and have good facilities, good infrastructure and a strong rule of law. We have a lot to be proud of and to build on.
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima will not be making the trip from the Noordeinde Palace, through The Hague and to the Binnenhof in the Golden Carriage this year. Instead the Royals will make their way to the King's Budget Day speech in the Glass Coach.
The municipality of The Hague advises visitors not to bring any large bags or backpacks when coming to watch Budget Day. "Those who bring a backpack may take longer to pass checks", the municipality writes on its website. "It would be a shame if through multiple checks you miss the passage of the Glass Coach."
For the second year in a row the Dutch government is giving the Budget Day message that the economic crisis is over. But the vast majority of Dutch have seen little or no improvement to their immediate environment, according to a study Ipsos did for NOS.
Fewer trains are traveling between Utrecht Central and Den Haag Central on Tuesday morning due to a damaged railway viaduct, according to NS. People traveling from Utrecht to The Hague for Budget Day, should take extra travel time of between 30 minutes and an hour into account.
The government is finalizing the 2017 budget for Prinsjesdag this afternoon. They plan to have everyone see an increase in purchasing power next year, averaging at a 1 percent increase, sources confirmed to RTL.