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Blog Eric Uijen: Budget day

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Today is Budget Day, the traditional day of the state opening of parliament when the government announces its plans and related budget for the next year. With the upcoming elections and a caretaker government, the plans for 2024 are, as they say, policy-neutral. This means no major changes or grand and compelling outlooks. Still, the government is taking a number of important measures, mainly aimed at supporting purchasing power. This is vital for large groups of people in our country. Although decreasing slightly of late, inflation is still high. In a little under two years, the price of daily groceries has skyrocketed to the extent that more and more people are struggling to make ends meet. The same goes for the energy bill and the price of petrol. Nearly 5% of the Dutch population now lives in poverty. That is difficult to stomach in a rich country like ours.

The measures announced by the government today will boost purchasing power somewhat. Working people will gain an average of over 2% next year, while pensioners can expect 1% extra purchasing power due to the government measures. A small step, granted, but every little bit helps.

PME also hopes to be able to decide later this year to support the purchasing power of our pensioners - and the future purchasing power of people who have not yet retired. This is not certain yet, but with PME's current financial health a small step seems possible.

Meanwhile, we are working hard on preparations for the introduction of the new pension scheme. Under this new scheme, pensions can, in good times, be increased sooner than has been the case in recent years. We hope for a steadfast approach to pension legislation, before and after the elections in November. That will allow us to continue to build on a better pension.

But in other areas we hope the newly elected government will show more drive and ambition. Because a lot remains to be done. We must speed up housing construction in the Netherlands and we must work hard to combat climate change. Why we as PME find this important? Because you need more than just your pension for a comfortable old age. You also want to be able to live well and affordably, in a world that is growing and flourishing and not on fire or under water. We work every day with our investments to ensure a good pension and a liveable world. But we cannot do this alone.