Opinion: Budget cuts

POSTED: 10/11/11 1:35 PM

Brigitte van der Burg, a member of the VVD-faction in the Dutch Parliament has a bright idea: everybody has to make economies to keep the Dutch budget on track, so why would the budget for the Queen be left out?
Van der Burg will ask Prime Minister Mark Rutte to cut in the Queen’s budget form 2013. We suspect that the royal family is not exactly wanting. Forbes reported last year for instance that Queen Beatrix invested $100 million with Ponzi-schemer Bernie Madoff – and lost it. The palace has denied rumors about this blooper, but still, the queen and her sons have money to spare, so a little budget cut will not make them dependent on social benefits.
It is interesting however, that a politician would come up with an idea for budget cuts for others (in this case the Queen), without offering something from her own purse. A member of the Dutch parliament makes something like €7,300 (about $9,700) per month, or $116,400 per year.
Of course, a Dutch parliamentarian could now argue that a parliamentarian in St. Maarten earns more ($125,000 before taxes), but that’s not the point.
The point is that a member of parliament could live reasonable from a salary of, say, $5,000 per month. But because politicians are the ones who decide about the salaries for politicians, such an adjustment will obviously never happen.
MP Van der Burg could of course lead by example and give up half of her own salary, but such a course of action is also not very popular among politicians.
We imagine that Prime Minister Mark Rutte will think about ten seconds about Van der burg’s request, before he decides to go and do the shopping for his mom. After all, there are more important things to do than embarrassing the royal family with something as mundane as budget cuts.

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