Okay, we have to get in on the act. There are so many budget lists out there that we really feel we have to create our own.
1. There were a lot of horrible Prinsjesdag hats out there. And we wish Maxima would stop wearing those silly turban things on the back of her head.
2. The king’s speech was boring – apart from the bit about hatred spilling into our streets – and he is not exactly the world’s most dynamic speaker. But then he didn’t write it so who can blame him?
3. Finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem gabbled through his speech so fast that it made you wonder if he had something to hide. He did.
4. Income tax is not being cut. You will be paying 0.5 of a percentage point more income tax next year. They were planning to put up the rate by 0.75 percentage point but have found 0.25 percentage point to soften the blow. Sneaky.\
5. You may well be worse off. Ministers can keep on telling us that we will have a modest increase in spending power but 2.2 million households will not. That’s three in 10.
6. The 100,000 jobs the government hopes to generate with its tax cuts will appear over 10 years – that’s 10,000 a year. Not very ambitious then.
7. The cabinet estimates health insurance premiums will go up by around €10 a month. But it is nothing to do with ministers. Its completely up to health insurance companies how much they charge – and, let us not forget, they want to make a profit.
8. Nearly everything in the budget was old hat and had either been leaked or presented to parliament by ministers months ago. Just as well all the documents were virtual – to save on all that wasted paper.
9. One new item in the plans was the surprise announcement that taxpayers are spending some €50m restoring and renovating royal palaces. Well, perhaps we should. We do own them after all. Wonder how much rent the king pays? He’s also getting a pay rise of €6,000 a year. Maxima gets €2,000. Maybe she can buy some new hats?
10. The budget was so boring this year that two newspapers did not think it worthy of their opening story. The Volkskrant decided to go with Ukraine, while NRC.next went for Marco Van Basten standing down at AZ because of stress.