AP News

Dutch leaders agree to scrap some austerity moves

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The leaders of two Dutch political parties hoping to form the country's next coalition government say they have agreed to scrap two unpopular austerity measures.

Caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte says he and Labor Party leader Diederik Samson have decided to dump a planned "commuter tax" that would have been levied on money paid to workers to cover travel costs, and to ditch a fine that was to have been slapped on students who took too long to complete their degree.

The measures were intended to save nearly €2 billion ($2.58 billion) to help bring the Dutch budget deficit within EU guidelines next year.

To ensure that target will still be met, Rutte and Samson want to raise a tax on insurance and abandon a subsidized savings scheme.

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