Dark days ahead and everyone must help pay the bill

«Dutch industry will face a €3bn increase in taxes, premiums and other charges next year, as a result of the government’s 2012 spending plans». «A new economic crisis is a real possibility and everyone will have to help pay the bill, is the central message in the government’s 2012 spending plans. A number of difficult and uncertain years are ahead of us, the government warns. Spending power will fall across the board for the next three years and almost everyone will affected by cutbacks. Next year’s pay rises will almost entirely be eaten up by inflation, which will remain around 2%. In his introduction to the budget, finance minister Jan Kees de Jager states that the effects of the previous economic crisis were almost entirely absorbed by the government and industry. But the man in the street was largely unscathed, enjoying an increase in spending power of around 2%, De Jager said. ‘The buffers have gone. We cannot continue to pass the bill on to the next generations’»

2012 budget: the main points

«A continuing European debt crisis will lead to a 40% drop in Dutch share prices and a 20% fall in house prices, according to new finance ministry calculations, the Telegraaf reports. The figures are contained in a confidential briefing for MPs about the likely effect on the Netherlands of three different forms of financial crisis: a general financial crisis, a continuing European debt crisis and a global crisis. MPs had called on finance minister Jan Kees de Jager to look at the options in the wake of increasing concern about the effect of an eventual Greek bankrutpcy on the Dutch economy. The briefing does not mention Greece by name, according to media reports. In June, De Jager said if Greece was allowed to go bankrupt, it would cost the Netherlands several tens of billions of euros, because confidence in Portugal, Ireland and Spain would also be hit. (…) The figures show that should there be another credit crisis like that of 2008, the Dutch national debt will rise by 25% over the next five years. Unemployment will rise 2%.»

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