Dutch Budget day set for standoff following election

The outcome of the Dutch general election last week means that tomorrow’s scheduled presentation of government policies for the next year, including the Budget, by the country’s monarch will be a non-affair.

The so called Prinsjesdag, which takes place every third Tuesday in September, involves a throne speech to members of both houses of the Netherlands’ Parliament. This is meant to be followed by the country’s minister of Finance proposing the Budget for the coming year, and subsequent debate by parliamentarians.

However, last week’s election saw the previous five party coalition replaced by a decisive shift towards the centre by the electorate, and big gains by the centrist VVD and PvdA parties for a larger slice of the vote. This means that until a new coalition is formally in place, the caretaker government is unable to put forward a proper Budget for discussion.

According to DutchNews.nl today, there are expectations that when a coalition is in place, key measures may have to be renegotiated among the new member parties. These include taxes on travel expenses, the rise in the state pension age – which is set to rise to 67 under a previously brokered agreement – and tax breaks on mortgages.

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