£31m a year from the taxpayer, and Dutch King tells the poor: ‘build your own safety nets’

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No, this is not a Monty Python sketch.  The King of the Netherlands, Willem-Alexander announced the end of the welfare state in a speech written by the government.  But while the population of the Netherlands has faced some of the most severe austerity measures in Europe, the monarchy has cut nothing from the £31m it receives from the taxpayer each year – overtaking the Windsors as the most expensive monarchy in Europe.

Austerity, Netherlands Style

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The Netherlands’ deficit is around half that of the UK and the US. Yet, the economy of the Netherlands is disintegrating under the pressure of pay cuts, public spending cuts and tax hikes. This year, the economy will shrink by almost 2% as it continues a brutal Austerity programme under pressure from the EU to reduce its budget deficit to the EU limit – 3% of GDP.  Greece, Portugal, Spain and others who have abandoned all common economic sense to chase this arbitrary limit have decimated their economies doing so.

The following are the result of Austerity programmes in the Netherlands in the five years since 2008:

  • Unemployment has almost trebled from 3.2% to 8.2% in 2013
  • House prices have fallen 20%
  • VAT (tax paid on goods and services) has risen to 21%
  • 18bn euros has been cut from public spending
  • Retirement age will be raised from 65 to 67
  • 1 in 10 children live in poverty
  • 1 in 8 public sector workers will have lost their jobs by 2015.

The Netherlands has always adopted a more Scandinavian-style social democratic approach than the UK, and in 2008/9 had one of the most egalitarian social security systems in the world.  But Austerity is rapidly turning the economy into a US/UK style blitzkrieg on the concept of social democracy.  With six weak coalition governments in the last ten years, and the EU imposed Austerity, the far right Freedom Party of Geert Wilders is flying high in the polls.

Meanwhile, at the Palace

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Willem rode in a horse drawn carriage made of gold (pictured above), to the 13th century Hall of Knights in The Hague, to deliver his annual speech (written by the government).  The King, on behalf of the government, told the people of the Netherlands it was time to shift to a ‘Participation Economy’ where people build their own safety nets, apparently just for themselves.

“The shift to a ‘participation society’ is especially visible in social security and long-term care,” he said, continuing “The classic welfare state of the second half of the 20th century in these areas in particular brought forth arrangements that are unsustainable in their current form.”

While presenting themselves as pomp-free, the Dutch monarchy has become the most expensive in Europe.  The monarchy receives £31m a year from the Dutch taxpayer, four times that received by the Spanish monarchy, despite having just a quarter of the population of commoners to raise the cash.  £14m of the fund received are in personal allowances for the royal family.

Before his mother, Queen Beatrix abdicated in April this year to pass over the throne to her eldest son, she stated she “saw no reason” for her family to reduce their burden on the public finances.

Irony is Dead

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That a golden horse carriage riding hereditary monarch of the world’s most expensive family of benefit scroungers could denounce the welfare state, lifeline to the poor, as an unaffordable luxury – this confirms that irony is dead.  Similarly, during the Tory Party Conference in the UK, a cabinet of trust fund babies, aristocrats and millionaires bemoaned the ‘something for nothing’ culture of the struggling British working class.

There appears to be no shame among the barons, baronets, billionaires and banksters who have hoarded the wealth, for the impact on the majority of people left behind.  Quite the opposite, it seems to be in vogue to bash the poorest and glorify the wealthy, as if poverty was a lifestyle choice.

They promote this idea that we should operate a ‘pay as you go’ social security system for the rich, as if they were not beneficiaries of the roads, the police force, the courts, the health system that keeps their employees healthy, the railways and the billions in taxpayer subsidies their businesses receive each year.

Imagine a table full of 10 friends out for a meal.  If you added up all the wealth of the table, one would have 86%. The other 9 have the remaining 14% between them.  The 1 is dining out on steak, lobster, expensive red wine and whiskey – while the 9 are ordering the side salad and a tap water as they’re on a budget.

The bill comes and the 1 turns to the 9 and says ‘we must split the bill equally’.

The 9 look at each other and grimace. One of the 9 pipes up ‘But…we didn’t have any steak’

The 1 quips back ‘That may well be true…but I didn’t have any of your salad either!’

The majority of people of the Netherlands, the UK, and countries across the world are being handed the bill for the largesse of a tiny percentage of the population. The sleeping majority needs to get behind those who dare to defy the status quo, and refuse to pay the bill.
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15 thoughts on “£31m a year from the taxpayer, and Dutch King tells the poor: ‘build your own safety nets’

  1. Rikstag? Where’s that? Certainly not in The Hague. BTW is the “royals” would life off their own wealth they would not need 31 million in tax payer’s money. The House of Orange does NOT pay taxes

  2. There are one of the wealthiest families on the planet, can’t they pay their own way? The position of the monarchy is untouchable, don’t say you are a republican or people will start throwing bs-stories at you about how great the “royals”are for our economy. Puh-lease…..

  3. Dear Kosko. I work full-time (38 hrs) as a secretary (even though I have a university degree). I make 1584 euros a month. Most months, after I pay all my bills, I only have 100 euros left to do my grocery shopping from for the rest of the month. The cost of living is very high in Holland, we pay a lot for health insurance, housing, our VAT has been hiked up to 21%. I do not go on vacation (can’t afford it), I drive a very old car , and I think it’s about time the “royals” start paying taxes like the rest of us. But I’d rather see them go

  4. A president or a republic would be no different at all, you would be paying thirty millions of pounds towards an elected president to have a pension fund and a massive mansion to please his mates in his own political party and his own lobby groups, so it would get worse with that.

    Besides, it is the politicians of the Netherlands that are causing austerity, not the King, the poor old King has to take orders from these elected scrounging plebs in the Rikstag and has to pay his TAXES to them as well.

    Please bare in mind that monarchs are not scroungers because they actually pay taxes, far more than any pleb would and that monarchs live on inherited wealth, not accumulated wealth nor on the wealth of lobby groups or other vested interest groups as the monarchs regard those types of people as the “nouveau riche” or “dirty blood”.

  5. Ok but why do we have to support the Dutch now. Don’t we the people of the south have so much troubles right now? How many hours the Dutch work? They are among the lowest in EU and then they moan why their economy is messed up? Sorry but the Dutch got what they deserve. No sympathy and no help from me.

    • Those hours are largely from families that have one parent working, with the other one part time to take care of the kids. Believe me… You are going to have a hard time surviving here on one income without a full 40 hour workweek to pay for a roof over your head, food, insurance etc.
      Personally I think it is a good thing there are still parents willing to sacrificy the (very needed) time to raise kids instaid of making a career and dumping the children at daycare.

    • No thanks essexeddie = Ukippy. or Ukipalotty, or Ukippiasts or whatever they support the fugging absolutist undemocratic fugging monarchy.

  6. I am Dutch myself, but I would like to go back to the days of the Dutch Republic. Sick and tired of those so called Royal German scroungers, trust me the German border is very close by the Netherlands.

    Lang leve de Republiek.

      • Breaking news. Freedom of Information Act now a toothless tiger – no point in it as the royals have extended their appalling undemocratic demand for secrecy to every corner of Britain.

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