Tax increases will be unavoidable to fill a major hole in the government’s finances, prime minister Mark Rutte said on Thursday, after the weekly cabinet meeting. Talks on exactly how to make up the shortfall, put at between €10 billion and €15 billion, will continue on Thursday evening between the four coalition parties. ‘I am assuming there will be tax increases,’ Rutte said. ‘That is unavoidable… the major problems which we are now seeing, cannot simply solved by looking at... More >
Easter is traditionally the start of the Dutch tourist season but although more will come to the Netherlands this year than in 2021, numbers will be well below the 2019 record, according to Dutch tourist board figures. Inflation, the war in Ukraine and the risk of a new coronavirus wave are all having an impact on projections and holiday plans, the NBTC says. This year Dutch holidaymakers are once again going abroad, after two years of holidaying at home. The... More >
Finance minister Sigrid Kaag has proposed moving the publication of the government’s financial plans from the third Tuesday in September to the spring, because this would give MPs more time to debate changes before they were implemented. Currently, the finance minister’s statement is published alongside individual ministerial budgets in September, but critics say this does not give enough time to evaluate tax and other changes ahead of January 1 the following year. The Council of State, the government’s most important... More >
More supermarkets are going into direct competition with fast grocery delivery services like Gorillas and Flink, by signing alliances with food delivery firms. Albert Heijn said this week it will start testing fast delivery services in two Amsterdam stores next week, after signing agreements with Deliveroo and Thuisbezorgd. The three firms already had a deal to deliver AH To Go products. Spar is also working with Thuisbezorgd’s bike couriers using supplies from 15 of its own stores. If the service... More >
The Netherlands’ four coal fired power stations pumped out 69% more carbon dioxide last year, ending the downward trend which started in 2015. In total, carbon dioxide emissions in the Netherlands rose by a fraction of a percent in 2021, but were still down on the pre-coronavirus year of 2019, the Dutch emissions authority said on Thursday. The biggest coal-fired power station is owned by RWE and located in Eemshaven. It emitted more than twice as much carbon dioxide in... More >
Animal rights organisations are accusing former agriculture minister Carola Schouten MPs of flouting the Dutch ban on the trade of wild animals for circuses by sanctioning the sale of an elephant to Hungary. The dispute centres on Buba, the last circus elephant in the Netherlands, which was owned by the Freiwald circus family and went into retirement by the 2015 ban on performing wild animals. In 2020, MPs voted to allow the 45-year-old elephant to remain with the circus family... More >
Compensating people on low incomes because of soaring inflation and energy prices is up to both the government and employers, Carola Schouten, the minister for eradicating poverty, told television show Nieuwsuur on Wednesday evening. While the cabinet is doing what it can – and has already promised the poorest households an extra €800 – wage levels also need to be looked at, she said. ‘This is a conversation employers and unions should be having,’ she said. ‘Wages are only going... More >
Customs officials at Schiphol airport have seized 300,000 elvers, or baby eels, in the luggage of three Malaysian nationals, the food safety board NVWA said on Thursday. The baby eels, weighing a combined 105 kilos, were being shipped in eight identical large suitcases and were spotted during a stop over on a journey from Portugal to Malaysia. The suitcases attracted the attention of customs officials who then made the find. The eel is a protected species and exports are subject... More >
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Local council officials dealt with more illegal brothels during two years of coronavirus restrictions, police chiefs have told news website Nu.nl. Sex work was banned during much of the crisis, along with other so-called contact professions, but the number of illegal brothels identified by officials rose, Nu.nl said. For example, in 2020 officials in The Hague noted that sex work had moved to hotels, and by 2021 to private homes. In 2020, one property being used as a brothel was... More >
A Dutch invention to help the blind and visually impaired may have found a fan – and possible endorsement – in singer Stevie Wonder. Envision glasses, invented by researchers from Delft University have an inbuilt camera which records the environment and reports in speech what it sees to the wearer, who can then locate objects or ‘read’ texts. Most functions are based on turning text into speech but that is not all, Vanessa Vigar explained to NPO Radio. Other functions... More >
ABN Amro bank has issued a formal apology for its role in slavery which, the bank says, played a major role in the banking group’s history. The International Institute for Social History has looked at the role of two 18th century banks – Hope & Co and R. Mees & Zoonen – both of which have been swallowed up in the ABN Amro group. Both companies were involved in slave trading, in plantations and in the trade of goods made... More >