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We are Renske, Renske and Charlotte, and we write weekly blogs about what's going on in the world. Hope you enjoy!

Prinsjesdag — 30 September 2016

Prinsjesdag

The carriage is getting out, the goverment is getting ready and ofcourse the king is practising his vocals for the very last time. Yes, it is that time again. The third tuesday of September, also know as prinsjesdag ( little prince day ). This day represents the start of a new parliamentary year. The troonrede is being read aloud in the ridderzaal to the States General by the king himself. Ofcourse the minister of finance can not be missing on this day, because he will present the Miljoennota ( budget ). This Miljoenennota can be described in short as a summary of the national budget. There are many more rituals included in this day, but we are first going to have a look at the role of the king on prinsjesdag.

The king and the other members of the royal family will first be part of the ritual procession from palice Noordeinde to the ridderzaal. The royals will be sitting in the glazen koets ( glass carriage ) during this procession. After entering the ridderzaal, the king and qeeun will be seated in front of the states general on their thrones. Now it is up to Willem-Alexander to read the troonrede. after finishing the troonrede the procession will continue back to the palice. It is now time for the balcony scene. No, not that one from Romeo and Juliet but the little less romantic one from prisnjesdag. The members of the royal family will appear on the balcony of the royal house and will be greeted by a very large group of people. This all seems pretty important, but actually het king is mostly their to show off our monarchy.

The Miljoenennota is a very important CD ( it was a little bit too much to put on a A4). On this CD are the most important plans of the cabinet for the upcoming parliamentary year. The status of the current economy can also not be missed in the miljoennota. And last but not least, the public finance. In case of a shortage, which is mostly the case, there will be declared how much our shortage is and how we are going to take care of this. This part of Prinsjesdag is to let the people know that the government is doing good things with the money we are paying monthly.

Because we saved lots of money over the last years, we were able to get closer to coming out of the economic crisis. One advantage is that we have more money to spend on security, some examples of this are the police who will recieve 450 million euros extra which will be invested in better ict and equipment. I think we already had great security in the Netherlands, but nowadays it is also important to give people the feeling that they are well protected because of the situation that’s going on in the world with terrorism. I think it was a good decission for the government to decide to invest in security. People must be safe at all times and we have to do whatever we can.
The money we can spend on education this year is also raised. The government is investing on giving people equal oppertunities to get a good education, for example extra language lessons for assylum children. To me this is a very positive thing. I think we have to stimulate asylum poeple to integrate in our society and that starts with learning the Dutch language and have a good education. The governemnent is also helping elderly who are over the age of 55 years and still want to study. They are now able to lend the money needed for there study. Actually I got some mixed feelings about this, because I think it is great that older people still have the oppurtunity to continue learning. But on the other hand I don’t think it is a smart idea to create college debts when you are older. You will have less time to pay them off by working and youre retirement will reduce as well. Overall I think it is great that the government is spending more money on education this year.

 

Renske van Dokkum, A4D

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Prinsjesdag —

Prinsjesdag

Prinsjesdag is the day on which a lot of numbers, figures and graphs about the national budget of the following year are made public. It’s also the day on which the royal family drives around in a golden or glass carriage and waves at the people from their balcony. A lot of different things happen on this day, from difficult budgets to greetings to the people.
Here’s everything you need to know about Prinsjesdag!

Prinjesdag is held on the 3rd Tuesday in September in the Ridderzaal in The Hague. The king and the queen drive in a golden or glass carriage from palace Noordeinde to the Binnenhof. All the ministers, states secretaries and the states general, which exist out of the members of the First and Second Chamber, are present at the Ridderzaal. The beginning of the new parliamentary year starts when the king reads the monarch’s speech, the ‘Troonrede’, aloud. In the monarch’s speech is written what the highlights of last year were in the Netherlands and the rest of the world and, the most important, what the plans and measures are for the upcoming year.

After that, the minister of finance hands over the ‘Miljoenennota’ and the national budget, ‘rijksbegroting’, to the members of the Second Chamber. The national budget shows all the plans from the ministers and how much money is spend on which plan. The ‘Miljoenennota’ describes the national budget in words; What are the most important plans and which effects do they have?
In the General Debate that follows, the Second Chamber debates the national budget and votes on adjustments.

The king does not have a very distinct role on Prinsjesdag. He completes the image of monarchy but isn’t very important. He reads the ‘Troonrede’, drives around in a golden or glass carriage and back in palace Noordeinde the whole royal family greets the people from their balcony. It’s a ceremony that already exists for a long time.

Coming back on the ‘Miljoenennota’, what does it consist of actually? The ‘Miljoenennota contains the most important plans for the coming parliamentary year and how much money is available for each plan. It also describes the economic state of the Netherlands and the expected progressions.  The ‘Miljoenennota is a kind of explanation of the national budget or ‘rijksbegroting’.

The five main subjects of the ‘Miljoenennota’ of 2017 are Healthcare, Defence, Security and Justice, Education and Culture.

In the ministry of Healthcare the costs for families with a chronic disease or a disabled family member are decreased. On average, they save 14 hundred euros more then last year. I think it is very good that the ministry made more money available for this. Families who deal with this do not only have a hard time with the extra costs but also on things that don’t cost anything, like learning how to live around them and knowing what they should do if anything happens. Now, those families have a little less worries about money and the extra costs so they can live their lives like an almost normal family.

The ministry of Education has destined 55 million euros for equal chances in education, for example for asylum children and poorer families. I think this is a very good subject to spend the money on. Especially for asylum children who also have the right to education but just don’t have enough money. I think the Netherlands have always taken good care for children from poorer families, it’s just nice that the government still makes sure that every child has an equal chance at education.

Charlotte Jansen, a4D

Prinsjesdag — 29 September 2016

Prinsjesdag

Every third Tuesday of September is known as Prinsjesdag in the Netherlands. So what exactly is Prinsjesdag? Well, it is an enormously important day for Dutch politics. Many politic plans are revealed to the public and discussed. For example, every year the Troonrede is read by the king, King Willem-Alexander, to a room full of important people and is also broadcasted live on television. The Troonrede is an annual speech which contains 2 main subject: a reflection on what has happened the previous year and some announcements about the government and politics for the upcoming year.

This leads us to the role of the king on Prinsjesdag. As previously mentioned het reads the Troonrede to a room full of important people, but what else does he do? Well… not much really. He goes through a ceremony in which he sits in a, normally golden, but this year a glass carriage (the golden carriage has imagery of slavery on it so it has to be changed) with his family and waves to the public watching the ceremony. Later that day he waves at people from a balcony and that is it.

Also the Miljoenennota is revealed on Prinsjesdag. Every year the Miljoenennota is brought into the 2nd chamber at exactly 15:15 o’clock by the minister of finance in a briefcase that reads: Third Tuesday of September. Once in the 2nd chamber the Miljoenennota is revealed. In previous times it was a gigantic pile of paper, but nowadays it is on a cd. So what is in this o so special Miljoenennota? The miljoenennota contains, in a lot of detail, what the expected earnings and spendings are of the upcoming year.

So what does the cabinet have in sight for us this year? Well, because we have saved so much money in the last few years during the economic crisis, which we are now starting to climb out, we can start spending more. Also because the economic crisis is coming to an end, it will be easier to buy and sell houses, and renting something is going to become easier because of the higher housing allowance.

Also the government is planning on spending more on care. Which I personally think is a great idea. We have saved so much on care in the past few years that I think it is great they get a bit extra this year. Because if you looked at for instant retirement homes, you would have seen that they were starting to look worse and worse, simply because the government would not give the money to make them look a bit better. But now something is finally done about it. The government also wants to save even more money on education. Which is not a good idea if you ask me. Over the last few years the government has spent very little on education, and because of that many teachers lost their jobs. Even a few teachers at our very own school have been fired because of the cuts in the budget.

So this is Prinsjesdag! A whole day dedicated to spendings, earnings, cuts in budgets, politics, and so on. Let’s see what the government makes of it this year!

Renske Pouwels A4D