Dutch PM “Don’t let us end up like Belgium”

The Dutch Prime Minister Marc Rutte (liberal) has defended his government’s decision to scrap the tax on share dividends (at a cost of 1.4 billion euro to the Dutch exchequer) with a swipe at Belgium. The opposition has slammed the Dutch Government’s decision to scrap the 15% tax on share dividends from 2019, describing it as “a gift to multi-nationals”.

Mr Rutte says that he understands that there are questions. However, he isn’t planning to change his mind.

"If we don’t scrap the tax then we will be following in the footsteps of Belgium. In the pasted there used to be a lot of multi-nationals there and now they have is just one international company left: AB InBev. The rest have left”.

The Dutch Prime Minister refused to give the names of multi-nationals that might leave The Netherlands if the dividend tax was not scrapped. However, the Dutch financial daily ‘Financieele Dagblad’ mentions Unilever and Shell.

The Belgian Finance Minister Johan Overtveldt (Flemish nationalist) has responded to Mr Rutte’s swipe at Belgium by saying that "To paint Belgium as being an economic desert is several bridges too far”.


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