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