In the Financieele Dagblad
(Dutch Financial Times) this week my eye fell on 2 articles.
The first article was about Rotterdam. The municipal government of Rotterdam doesn’t want to get involved in creating a (financial) solution for the millions of m2 of vacant office spaces. According to a spokesman ‘the market has to solve this themselves without interference of the government'. Good thinking one would say. Stop spending public money on the commercial failures of the past. This means that real estate owners have to lower their rents dramatically, finding other use for their empty office spaces (housing, co working) or tear the place down.
But in the next line I read: ‘New office development has to be concentrated in areas designated by the (same) Rotterdam government’. In this way scarcity, thus increasing cost of the land, is created. This suits Rotterdam well, as they own these designated sites
and are stuck with it. So, we favor market economics as long as it suits us. But if we, as the municipal government, have to cover up for our financial and/or speculative failures of the past, quickly we play the monopolist game.
On the same page there was an article about our National Government.
Like any country we have to bring our deficit down so we have to cut expenses, also our Ministries. And cost cutting they do: on paper!
The Ministry of Education simply brings the estimated-number-of-students up
for the next years. Since no politician wants to touch the education of our youth, this Ministry will have a surplus in the next couple of years, which they are using to keep spending money. Other Ministries invest less in our highway maintenance or public transportation. Not a single civil servant is dismissed.
We leave that to the Greeks
and sent in the Troijka
to see if they comply...
I have a question to ask to my government: I estimated that I would be entitled to have a VAT claim in the fall of 2019
, so I get an amount back from you guys. I would like to settle this refund with the extra VAT I will have to pay as per October 1st 2012 (the date that you guys are increas
ing the VAT from 19 % to 21 %...). Don’t you agree?