- Category: News
- Created on Wednesday, 16 May 2012 10:40
- Written by Amsterdam Herald
Sources in The Hague told the state broadcaster NOS that patients will have to pay €350 towards the cost of their treatment under the new deal. That represents a steep rise on the current level of €220 and more than double the €170 charged in 2011.
The five parties involved in the talks, chaired by finance minister Jan Kees de Jager, spent Tuesday sorting out the fine print of the deal before submitting it to the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB).
The CPB, which assesses all government economic policy, had previously refused to vet the package because it did not contain enough detail.
The deal is designed to raise an extra €12 billion in taxes and savings to bring the Dutch budget deficit below 3 per cent of GDP by 2013, as required under the European Union’s strict new financial discipline rules.
It includes an increase in the upper rate of the btw purchase tax from 19 to 21 per cent, a freeze on public sector workers’ wages and a gradual increase in the retirement age to 66 by 2019.
De Jager hastily brought together a five-party coalition three weeks ago after Geert Wilders withdrew his support for Mark Rutte’s centre-right minority government.
The Freedom Party leader refused to endorse an earlier €16 billion savings package that emerged from seven weeks of talks between ministers behind closed doors. He claimed the elderly and people on low incomes were being made to pay for ‘stupid demands by Brussels’.
Several leading economists have criticised the De Jager deal, claiming it lacks structure and could damage the country’s ability to recover from recession n the long term.