Last year the Dutch budget deficit dropped to 4.7 percent while the state debt rose 65.2 percent of GDP, according to the official CBS statistics office. In 2010 the budget deficit stood at 5.1 percent.
Both 2011 figures exceeded the norms set by the European stability pact for a third year running. The final figure of 4.7 percent was slightly lower than the 4.8 percent the CBS had estimated in February. The CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis attributes the drop to budget cuts introduced by municipalities. The deficit run up by the municipalities dropped by one billion euros to just over three billion euros, the CBP said in a statement. Most of the savings were the results of cuts in expenses on external advisors and investments.
The final figure of 4.7 percent, however, is higher than the 4.6 percent contemplated in the fall report the government used to draw up its budget in November 2010. For the past three weeks the minority VVD and CDA coalition has been locked in negotiations with Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party to seek further budget cuts worth between nine and 16 billion euros.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide