Netherlands Posts 'Disappointing' 2013 Tax Figures
29 May 2013
Posted by: Author: Ulrika Lomas
Source: Ulrika Lomas (Tax-News.com, Brussels)
The Dutch Government has published details of its Spring Memorandum 2013, in which it provides an overview of predicted fiscal revenues and expenditure for this year.
The Government has revised upwards the expected budget deficit figure for 2013, from 2.6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) initially forecast, to 3.3 percent of GDP. The 0.7 percent deterioration in the public finances is the result of a disappointing economy, and therefore lower than anticipated income from taxes and premiums.
This year, income from taxes and premiums is predicted to be EUR8.3bn less than originally provided for. "Disappointing" revenue figures are predicted for almost all types of taxes and premiums, although primarily for income from profit tax (-EUR2bn) (USD2.6bn), from value-added tax (-EUR2.1bn), and from wage and income tax (-EUR2.4bn). Faltering car sales have lead to lower than anticipated revenues from car and motorcycle tax (-EUR0.5bn) and revenues from excise duties are also forecast to be down, compared to the initial estimate (-EUR0.6bn).
Commenting, Dutch Finance Minister Dijsselbloem insisted that the findings of the Spring Memorandum 2013 are not a "surprise." Dijsselbloem explained that the statistics are in line with the latest estimate from the country's Central Planning Bureau. According to Dijsselbloem, the economic situation in the Netherlands has deteriorated over the course of the last six months, directly impacting on revenue.
Dijsselbloem emphasized, however, that, despite a number of setbacks, the Government's expenditure ceiling has not been exceeded. While conceding that the Government's ultimate goal of a balanced budget is still some way off, the Dutch Minister underscored that a deficit of 3.3 percent of GDP still marks a significant improvement compared to deficit figures recorded in recent years.
In March 2013, the Dutch Government made clear that it would not implement further savings measures to bring the deficit below 3 percent. The European Commission has since then granted the Netherlands a reprieve of one year in which to achieve this objective.
The Netherlands' Spring Memorandum 2013 marks the first interim report for this year. Further updates are to follow in September (2014 Budget) and November (Autumn Memorandum 2013).