The Dutch economy is now growing more quickly than expected, finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem told parliament, as he handed the government’s 2016 spending plans to MPs. ‘The Netherlands has wrestled itself out of the crisis,’ Dijsselbloem said. It has been a difficult period, he continued, adding that the budget deficit and national debt are now falling. ‘The recovery has expanded from exports to consumer spending and “pay rise” has now outstripped “redundancy pay” as an internet search term,’ the minister said. Dijsselbloem outlined the government’s broad plans to boost spending on nursing homes, on defence and on childcare and to cut the second and third tax bands and reduce the cost of labour. Nevertheless, there are still too many people at home not working, the minister said. The tax cuts will boost job creation, he said. ‘We cannot be content with average growth of just 1.5%...We are at the crucial phase of implementing the reforms which have been put in place,’ Dijsselbloem said.
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