Do not cut back on the agenda of the House of Representatives | Inland


“It may surprise you to hear this from a VVD spokesperson, but it is good that this year we have a significant budget deficit and the national debt is rising significantly.” VVD Member of Parliament De Vries on Tuesday did not bother about the general financial considerations in the House of Representatives: the increased national debt does not worry the liberals.

And that while that debt has grown in a few months from less than 50 percent of the national income to more than 60 percent. Above the limit of the European budget agreements, although Brussels has dropped those requirements for a while due to the extreme circumstances. The increase is mainly due to the now three support packages to support the economy in the corona crisis. Cost: tens of billions of euros.


“Responsible”, says De Vries. But, she points out, only because we were in good shape at the start of the crisis. “We have built up a buffer that other parties would have liked to have spent a long time,” she snaps at the opposition. But De Vries is not yet thinking about rebuilding the buffers as quickly as possible: “I’m not going to anticipate that. We are busy solving today’s problems. ”

The line drawn by the liberal fits in with the attitude of the cabinet and the House towards the rising national debt. Since the presentation of the deep red figures on Budget Day, only the SGP and the Council of State have wondered when the cabinet wants to get public finances back in order. “Quite painful,” says SGP Member of Parliament Stoffer.

The rest of the House is not so concerned about the national debt for the time being. That there will also be budget deficits in the coming years is ‘understandable’, according to SP MP Alkaya. “It is unwise to focus now on the national debt,” said the SP. Alkaya thinks 60 percent could become the new lower limit for the national debt. PvdA MP Nijboer also finds a higher debt ‘justifiable’, now that the state pays so little interest on it.

‘Windfalls to taxpayers’

CDA MP Slootweg advocates instead of making cutbacks that any windfalls in the budget should not all flow back to the state treasury and buffers, but also end up with the taxpayer. And also CU MP Bruins, at the start of the crisis always proud of the ‘full granaries’ built up through which the cabinet can cough up the billions of support, does not want to go too far. At the most, he wants to ‘think’ about making cutbacks against any additional expenditure that the cabinet would like to make in the coming period.

Wopke / Wiebes fund

The attitude of the House is not a license for all expenditure by the cabinet. Because the Wopke / Wiebes fund of 20 billion euros and the investment discount (BIK) that the cabinet wants to give to companies over the next two years, can still count on fierce criticism.

The opposition is adamant, but there are also questions about the coalition. With D66, for example, whether the role of the House in the expenditure from the Wopke / Wiebes fund is not too small. And CU calls the plans as they are now for the investment discount, the House will receive the bill next week, still ‘very vague’. “That must be more concrete and convincing next week,” says CU MP Bruins.

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