Prinsjesdag 2021: what has been leaked already?

No Knights Hall, no stagecoach (neither the golden nor the glasses), no balcony scene, no Orange fans (at least thats what the municipality of The Hague hopes), no joint three-yard hurrah (speech choirs are not allowed) and far fewer guests. A sober Prinsjesdag as far as ceremony is concerned, but there is just the content.

Traditionally, this content is contained in the suitcase that the Minister of Finance will be presenting to the Lower House tomorrow. And just as traditionally, the Million Dollar Note is already largely on the streets beforehand. Below is a list of what we already know from the plans for 2021:

The cabinet has earmarked EUR 1 billion for burden alleviation. Half is for reducing the first income tax bracket (a benefit for just about all Dutch people, you could say). The other 500 million euro is for labour cuts, which means that workers have to pay tax on a smaller part of their income. An average household will gain 0.8% in purchasing power next year, is the Princes Day forecast. Workers will gain the most: 1.2 percent, benefit recipients will gain 0.5 percent in purchasing power and pensioners will gain 0.4 percent. Incidentally, these figures offer little guarantee for individuals (and now, with the corona crisis, even less than normal). Large companies are facing a setback: profits taxes for them are not being reduced – as previously announced – from 25% to 21.7%, but remain at the same level. For smaller companies, however, profits tax will be reduced, even a little more than planned. The self-employed tax deduction, a tax advantage for small entrepreneurs (including self-employed persons), is being phased out faster than previously thought. With this, the government wants to reduce the fiscal difference between the self-employed and salaried persons

There will be no structural wage increase in health care, despite several attempts to do so by the opposition. However, in addition to the previously agreed bonus of EUR 1,000, there will also be a bonus of EUR 500 (net). The government will also allocate 130 million euros a year to make working in the healthcare sector more attractive, partly by reducing the workload. Teachers will also get something extra, at least: the government will set aside 32 million euros a year to combat the shortage of teachers. In the same category: pupils and students turn out to be more than previously calculated by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), which is one of the reasons why the Education budget is being increased by some 450 million extra per year

The budget for Justice and Security will increase (300 million next year and then structurally 350 million). The money is intended for prisons and tbs institutions, among other things, because greater capacity needs are expected. EUR 150 million will be structurally reserved for undermining crime, including drug gangs. A total of around EUR 2 billion in investment in areas such as rail, water, roads and defence is brought forward. This also has to do with defence: up to 2030, EUR 652 million will go to Zeeland, and thereafter EUR 66 million structurally each year, because after much bickering, the Marine Barracks will not go to Vlissingen after all. Compensation for parents who were victims of the child care allowance affair will cost around 390 million euros, plus 110 million in implementation costs: a total of half a billion euros. In addition, more money will go to the child budget. From the third child onwards, the amount will increase in order to reduce the risk of poverty in large sentences, according to the Cabinets thinking. Also in the documents, there is a setback for this year: the budget of Social Affairs is minus 230 million euro, due to the growth in the number of unemployment benefits (and this in turn due to corona). But it is not just corona in the Netherlands that is being funded: the government is budgeting half a billion euros to combat the corona crisis in vulnerable countries

EUR 5 billion is earmarked for measures to reduce nitrogen precipitation until 2030. And the carbon dioxide will also have to be reduced by an ounce, so the Cabinet will come up with a CO2 levy. The amount and exact details of this have not yet been leaked (although it is clear that the tax will be phased in). Housing construction will receive an extra EUR 295 million in the budget, partly because of the nitrogen problem. And the transfer tax for starters (up to 35 years of age) on the housing market will be abolished, while investors will pay more tax when they buy a house. Previously presented, but on this budget: the National Growth Fund/WopkeWiebes Fund. Four billion euros a year for the next five years, is the idea. That money is for investment in developments that contribute to growth and to achieving the Paris climate targets. All of this (and I am sure more, which will be known tomorrow) will lead to an increase in the budget deficit and public debt (the latter probably exceeding 60% of GDP). Moreover, the government is still expecting economic growth of 3.5% next year (after some 5% contraction this year). Unemployment will rise to around 6%. However, because of the corona crisis, these forecasts are more unreliable than usual

A great deal is already known, but there are undoubtedly some surprises in Hoekstras case as well. How or what exactly will become clear around 3 p.m. tomorrow, when the Minister will reveal the documents.

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