The government will not make extra cuts on top of the €6bn austerity package already being worked out, despite disappointing economic forecasts published on Wednesday, says Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem.
Even though the government’s macro-economic think-tank expects the budget deficit to break eurozone guidelines next year, Dijsselbloem told RTLZ no more cuts are in the pipeline.
‘We have agreed on €6bn and we will keep to that,’ the minister said. The government’s finances have to be brought under control in an orderly manner not by ‘dogmatically hunting down the 3% norm.’
The CPB estimates the budget deficit will reach 3.9% next year if no extra measures are taken.
Dijsselbloem reiterated that a combination of clever savings and cuts rather than an increase in the tax burden is the best way to bring down the deficit. In addition, he said, the government will take measures to stimulate corporate investment.
The austerity package is currently being worked out by ministers and will be published on the third Tuesday in September as part of the annual budget.
Earlier this week the Financieele Dagblad said the total package of cuts could be increased to €8bn to free up more cash to stimulate industry.
Economic affairs minister Henk Kamp said the fact the French and German economies are growing again is good news for the Dutch export sector. The cabinet has to continue pushing through ‘reforms which strengthen the economy and bring order to the government’s finances,’ he said in a statement.