The creation of an investment fund to which this government refers, is only intended for investments that will make the Netherlands better in the long term. This is what Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra told NU.nl on Tuesday.
"Only projects with added value for the long term are selected, such as infrastructure, knowledge development," says Hoekstra. "The world is going to change fundamentally in terms of artificial intelligence, robotics, big data. That kind of thing."
At the same time, says Hoekstra, the Netherlands is a rapidly aging country in which we all want to continue to pay the high costs. Money is needed for that. "Internationally, economic growth is quite low. That is a problem," said the minister.
Hoekstra only means that it is about "tens of billions". Sources in The Hague mention numbers of between 75 and 100 billion euros.
There will be a "safety valve" to change plans again in case the economic growth or the current low interest rate changes drastically. "You have to give yourself the space to reconsider it," says Hoekstra. He wants to discuss the plans in the House of Representatives in the first months of next year.
"I borrow billions and get extra money"
Now that interest rates are so low, it is extremely cheap for the Dutch government to borrow money. Hoekstra wants to take advantage of this.
Hoekstra: "I borrow a few billion euros from the capital market and I get a little more money because I am so nice to borrow money. That is a bizarre situation, but something that I want to use. Regardless of the economic business cycle. "
The criteria that a project financed by the fund must meet must still be worked out. Just like the control. The minister does not want to do this alone. "Ultimately, parliament always has the last word in a democracy. That's how it should be," says Hoekstra.