Dutch government announces €20bn fund to support economic growth

7 Sep 20

The Netherlands is launching a national growth fund to help boost the country’s future prosperity and fortify the economy against future downturns.

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Amsterdam

Amsterdam, the Netherlands

 
A total of €20bn will be allocated to projects aimed at improving infrastructure, research and development, and innovation over the next five years, with ministers hoping they will grow the economy and ensure better conditions for the Dutch people.

“Next generations must also be able to live in a Netherlands with good care, good education, and a liveable environment, and they must have enough money left over to be able to spend,” the government said in a statement.

“In the event of a future economic downturn, it is important to be able to absorb those blows without direct cutbacks. This requires economic growth.”

Investments, which will each be at least €30m (no maximum size has been set), will be assessed by an independent committee before being approved by ministers.

The government said the economic consequences of Covid-19 have made it “even more clear” that economic growth should not be taken for granted, and challenges such as climate change and an ageing population are set to make it more difficult to achieve consistently.

Finance minister Wopke Hoekstra said the current low interest rates will allow the government to issue bonds to pay for the fund.

The government, which has a reputation for being fiscally conservative, brought its debt down to 49% of GDP in 2019, but that figure is set to rise to 60% next year because of the pandemic.

 

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