Additional expenditures on asylum, surveillance and security, and youth protection
The government is facing major financial challenges and has had to make challenging decisions in adopting the Spring Memorandum. Drastic events over the past year have caused budget setbacks, such as the war in Ukraine, higher interest rates as well as an increased asylum influx. For the increase during the coalition period, the cabinet has opted to hedge the additional costs for the asylum chain until 2026 and to hedge interest for 2.5 billion euros. The cabinet has also decided to increase investment in improving the surveillance and security system and youth protection.
A new system of safeguarding individuals
The Dutch Safety Council (Onderzoeksraad voor Veiligheid) previously made recommendations to minister Yeşilgöz-Zegerius to improve the quality of the surveillance and security system. The system comprises services involved in securing threatened politicians, judges and lawyers, among others. This year, an additional 14 million euros is available. As of next year, an additional 112 million will be invested structurally.
With the new investments, the system will be revised and expanded. This system should be more uniform, more threat-oriented and more transparent than the current system of surveillance and security. In the new system, the individual to be secured remains central. Investments will be made in improving access to relevant information about possible threats and in analysing this information. Organisational methods will also be changed and simplified. A single authority for the security of critically at-risk persons within the system will fall to the Minister of Justice and Security, implemented by the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security (NCTV). The government will also continue to invest in the staff and resources for the implementation of security measures by the police and the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee.
Investing in youth protection
This year, the cabinet will allocate 43 million euros for youth protection, taking an important step to structurally resolve the issues in this sector. Minister Weerwind for Legal Protection considers adequate youth protection as a joint responsibility of the state, municipalities and Certified Institutions. A judge can impose youth protection on parents if a child under 18 is unable to safely develop within a family. After this year, the government will structurally allocate 50 million euros annually for youth protection.
One objective of these funds is to reduce the workload of youth protection professionals. This should allow youth protection workers more time to provide better help to vulnerable children and families. Children and families should also be able to count on a regular youth protection worker more often in the future. The exact interpretations of the funds are still being worked out.
Government-wide coverage task
All ministries (with the exception of the Ministry of Defence) contribute to the government-wide coverage task. The Ministry of Justice and Security is also making a structural contribution to a balanced package of measures in the Spring Memorandum with changes costing 190 million euros. The supplementary budget of the Ministry of Justice and Security will be submitted to the House of Representatives on 9 May.