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Here are the highlights of the King’s Speech & Government budget 2023:

  • The economic outlook for 2023 is uncertain, mostly due to rising energy and commodity prices. However, the economy is expected to grow by 4.6% in 2022, and by 1.5% in 2023.
  • The government is counting on €366.4 billion in revenues and €395 billion in expenditures, yielding a budget deficit of €28.6 billion.
  • National debt will decrease from 49.8% of GDP to 49.5% percent of GDP, amounting to €500 billion.
  • Inflation is at a historic high (13.6% – August 2022 compared to August 2021).
  • Unemployment is at a historic low (3.8%) – which is related to the relatively low average number of working hours (32.1 hours/week) – which is the lowest in the EU.
  • To protect purchasing power, an exceptionally large package of €17.2 billion (of which €5 billion is structural) is presented. Part of this package are measures that specifically support vulnerable groups and middle-income earners.
  • To shield consumers from surging energy prices, a temporary price cap on gas and electricity – from 1 January 2023 onwards – will be introduced. In addition, for the extension of the reduction of the excise duty on fuel an amount of €1.2 billion is reserved.
  • The revenue of gas companies in the Netherlands – which is related to the high energy prices – will be heavily taxed, raising €2.8 billion in 2023 and 2024.
  • The CO2-tax for industry will be changed – by amending the reduction factor.
  • The lower corporate income tax rates will be increased and the threshold will be narrowed.
  • The 30%-ruling (wage tax) for expats will be limited. The cabinet proposes to impose a maximum to the ruling as of 2024 (the so-called Balkenende-norm or the Wet normering topinkomens (WNT)-norm, which is EUR 216.000 in 2022, but is expected to increase in 2024).
  • The cabinet has reserved additional budgets for education and equal opportunities (€2.8 billion), housing and infrastructure (€7.5 billion), the future of rural areas (€24 billion) and climate change (€35 billion) in the coming years.
  • Following the coalition agreement €3 billion is invested in defense (of which €1.9 billion in 2023). In addition, the government added €2 billion in the context of the war in Ukraine – which means that the Netherlands will meet the NATO standard of 2% in 2024 – 2025.