The biggest economic setback is the government itself –





When explaining economic setbacks, the media and the government ignore the biggest cause: the government itself.

The finance minister and the finance editors’ experts are overflowing with reports of the economic setbacks caused by, among other things, the ‘war in Ukraine’, ‘the rise in energy prices’ and’ rising interest rates on national debt ‘.
In doing so, however, they still ignore the biggest structural ‘economic setback’, which is the cost of the organization and the functioning of the government itself. Why? Because with the approval of the House of Representatives and the Senate and under the ‘coordination’ of the Ministry of Finance, these costs are systematically disregarded. These include organizational costs, ‘execution costs’ for the state at all levels and wrong investment decisions.

Some examples out of many:

  • 1) In addition to every euro that goes to the victims of the earthquakes, 0.56 euros goes to ‘execution costs’ (see Implementation of claims settlement Groningen too expensive).
  • 2) All tasks and sectors per. ministry entrusted to the government suffers from ever-increasing ‘implementation costs’, ‘organization costs’ for the government entities involved, including those in health care and education. These are unnecessary costs that you as a citizen can not do anything about.
  • 3) The renovation of Afsluitdijk will not cost 900 million euros, but is now estimated at 2 billion euros. (Problems with Afsluitdijk again show that Rijkswaterstaat does not work)
  • 4) The Court notes that the cost of the ‘Corona account’ continues to rise, including non-traceable expenditure from a number of ministries. In 2022, € 9.6 billion was more than budgeted on Budget Day 2021.
  • 5) Invest-NL will invest 1.7 billion euros in ‘innovative sustainable upscaling’.
  • 6) The estimated 20 billion euros in the Hoekstra Wiebes Foundation will be used mainly to maintain and expand the ‘old-normal’ public transport, including 1.7 billion euros for the extension of the North-South line to Schiphol.
  • 7) The government is allocating millions to START grants for zombie training at old-fashioned ‘certified’ training institutions. See also the article on
  • 8) Billions in direct and indirect Corona support have been provided to zombie companies, including direct and indirect support to KLM, without any financial justification, under pressure from, among others, FNV and VNO NCW in the Social Economic Council.
  • 9) Among other things, due to the lack of state supervision since 2008 and Wouter Boss’ appointment of mis-managers, the shares in ABN Amro owned by the government have fallen enormously in value. Investments in, among other things, the rescue of ABN AMRO, Fortis and ASR amounted to 21.7 billion euros (purchase of ‘N-share’ shares) and the support to keep the bank afloat, excluding other costs such as demerger costs (see ‘En banker’s diary ‘) will never be earned back. So there is nothing left but to lose. (See When will the state take the loss from ABN Amro)
  • 10) The renovation of the Binnenhof will now cost 50% more than originally planned. Second room Binnenhof move much more expensive than expected.
  • 11) The conversion of a former ministry into temporary housing for the Folketing has cost much more than budgeted due to the wishes of the members of the Folketing. See for example the article Renovation Binnenhof millions more expensive.

    And that’s how you can stay for a while. Throwing billions away mainly on the basis of political choices rather than sound fiscal policy. ‘Lovely things for your own followers and for yourself’. The conclusion is simple: Many officials and politicians behave like typical monopolists. Clients (citizens) can not go and can do nothing about this structural financial mismanagement, and the same goes for the Court of Auditors. It can only warn … year in, year out.

    A lousy customer experience
    Citizens, including the self-employed, are empty-handed, as are the customers of ABN Amro, who are constantly confronted with rising prices for non-delivered services and a miserable customer experience. The price of the current account increases by 50 percent, according to CEO Swaak, among other things, to be able to pay the fine of 428 million euros, which the bank has received due to poor management of money laundering. The bank does nothing about the internal unnecessary implementation costs and structural problems (see The inconvenient truth about ABN Amro’s profitability), but under the watchful eye of Kaags and its predecessors, the costs are passed on to customers and thus indirectly to taxpayers.
    Like its predecessors, Kaag does nothing, and neither does the House of Representatives. Not to mention the representative of ‘us’ at ABN Amro, who will be supervising. In short, the biggest ‘economic downturn’ is the ever-increasing implementation costs for the government itself and the economic failures. So act fast, Government and House of Representatives!

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