Finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem presented the government’s 2017 spending plans to parliament on Tuesday afternoon while admitting that many people have still not benefited from the economic recovery. The government, he said, had tackled overspending and structural weaknesses in the budget and the economy was now well-placed to deal with future crises.
However, the damage caused by the crisis is not over for many and there are still too many people without a job, Dijsselbloem said. Next year, the government would be focusing on helping employers take on more people from disadvantaged groups. In addition, an extra €1.1bn is being allocated to help children from poor families and ensure equal opportunities, he said.
Attention now, the minister said, must shift to boosting investment in opportunities. ‘This budget,’ he said, ‘lays the foundations so we can really make progress over the next four years.’