News - June 21, 2016

Cutback option: economize on DLO

Tuition fees could be doubled in ten years’ time and spending on DLO and other research institutions could go down by 20 percent. These are a couple of the options for economizing the ministry of Finance would offer a new cabinet. The list of options was leaked to the Volkskrant newspaper.

The ministry of Economic Affairs could cut back on its spending on DLO (13 million) and other applied research institutes (27 million). These cuts, approximately 20 percent of the budget for policy research, come on top of previous cuts of 20 percent. Further cuts could be made to allowances such as the TKI allowance for innovative research. The national subsidy arrangements for co-financing EU research could be ended. A ‘reprioritization within the field of agriculture’, leaving only subsidies for sustainable farming, would save the ministry about 120 million euros.

The ministry of Education could save money by lowering its general contribution to the universities. That would save about 270 euros. Tuition fees could also be raised by 200 euros per year over the coming ten years -  a total increase of 2000 euros, saving the ministry between 700 million and 1 billion euros. Other options are scrapping student public transport passes (800 million) and cuts to scientific research.

The ministry of Finance draws up a list of options for cutbacks every four years. The document does not address the desirability of the different measures, as the ministry is at pains to emphasize.