Merkies: 'Netherlands is falling further behind because of government’s policy choices’

14 August 2013

Merkies: 'Netherlands is falling further behind because of government’s policy choices’

'Short-sighted austerity policies mean that the Netherlands is now at the bottom of almost every league table.’ This was SP Member of Parliament Arnold Merkies’s reaction to the latest economic statistics and assessments from the CPB, an official, non-partisan body charged with analysing the effects of current and projected government policies. ‘If you look around, you can see that in most countries the economy is slowly picking up. In the Netherlands, however, we are falling further behind as a consequence of spiralling spending cuts and the resulting growing insecurity.’

Arnold Merkies'Germany, France and the United Kingdom, each of which also published their economic statistics today, showed modest economic growth, while the Netherlands remains mired in recession,’ said Merkies. ‘The same goes for unemployment. Although it’s falling in our neighbouring states, unemployment in our country continues to rise. So you can’t any longer speak about a European problem, but instead of a failing Dutch policy.’

Merkies finds it unsurprising that the economy is performing badly. 'Thanks to the choices made by this government people have less and less money to spend,’ he said. ‘Only in Portugal and Greece have real wages fallen more in recent years. People are spending less all the time and firms hardly dare to invest because they can’t shift their products.’

The CPB’s assessment confirms this picture, showing an even steeper fall in consumer spending than was previously recorded. Companies’ investments exhibit a decline of some 11.25%.

'These don’t even include the recently announced cuts of €6 billion. If the government stoically goes through with these cuts and ignores all the advice of experts we’ll never get over this crisis.'

The SP has long argued for a programme of investment to prevent bankruptcies and stimulate employment.

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