Dutch King…Bids Farewell to the Welfare State
“The shift to a ‘participation society’ is especially visible in social security and long-term care. The classic welfare state of the second half of the 20th century in these areas in particular brought forth arrangements that are unsustainable in their current form.”
Prime Minister Mark Rutte was hoping the king and his very popular wife, Queen Maxima, would fire up the crowd and soften the blow of large spending cuts, he was to announce later in the day. The Dutch GDP shrank 1% last year and is only expected to grow by a half of a percent next year, while the governments around them are seeing improvements=, such as Germany and France.
Actually, the participation society has been in place for several years now and the Dutch retirement age is now 67. Unemployment payments have been pruned as well as government services. The king told the people that they would have to persevere a while longer but in a few years, the changes will put them back on the road to prosperity that the nanny state had derailed.
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The king added that some of the costs for youth programs and retraining for the unemployed will be pushed back to the local level, where authorities can decide what works best for their particular situation and job market. Even the king will experience a paycut and the amount of money spent to maintain the various palaces will also be trimmed.
The government plans to cut their military by 1200 soldiers which follows a cut of 12,000 in 2011. The debate on the budget will begin this week, and Rutte needs help from 1 or more of the minority parties in order to achieve his goal.