The Dutch government is planning to spend six billion euros over the next two years to stimulate the country’s economy.
The package will include investment in job creation, infrastructure and sustainable energy. Future cost saving measures involve a proposal to raise the retirement age from 65 to 76 to reduce outlay on state pensions. Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende told Parliament that the choices being are needed to keep the state’s finances sound. He said: “All short-term measures to stimulate the economy cost a lot of money and the other side of the coin is that the national debt rises at an increased rate.” The Dutch government’s planning agency recently forecast that the country’s economy will contract by 3.5 percent this year and by 0.25 percent next year. That would be the worst economic performance since 1931.