Outgoing finance minister Wopke Hoekstra presented the budget for 2022 to the House of Representatives this afternoon.
Outgoing finance minister Wopke Hoekstra presented the budget for 2022 to the House of Representatives this afternoon.

Image: Ministry of Finance / Martijn Beekman

Budget Day 2021: 'This policy-poor budget is a travesty'

Despite pressing problems in education, structural investments are still pending. In the education budget for next year, the outgoing cabinet is not taking any steps to tackle the rising teacher shortage, as it turned out on Budget Day. Much to the frustration of the AOb. "This low-policy budget is a travesty," said chairman Tamar van Gelder.

“Pretend you don't have a choice, but at the same time reserve money for safety and housing and nothing for education. It's a gross shame. This school year has started a long time ago with far too few colleagues for the class,” says Van Gelder. “If there is no structural money for education in the formation, we will consider actions.”

The current cabinet has now been resigned for eight months and is leaving new education investments to the next shift. But due to the dragging formation, a new cabinet is not yet in sight six months after the elections.

Support package

The education budget has rarely contained so little news as this year. In February, education ministers Arie Slob and Ingrid van Engelshoven presented the National Education Programme, a support package from one-time 8,5 billion to inventory and catch up on corona arrears. Structurally, 645 million euros were allocated to compensate for the increase in the number of students, largely intended for higher education.

Just before summer tinkered the House of Representatives itself still to education expenditure. Thus, after the earlier austerity – another 60 million for the Lerarenbeurs, of which 17 million this year and 29 million in 2022.

Education yearns for structural investment, says AObPresident Van Gelder. “Promising time and again that education is a top priority and then again not investing structurally. I can't explain it to colleagues and I don't want to explain it anymore. We want the best education for our pupils and students. But we are in too full of classes with too little time. Everyone knows this and yet education is being skipped again, a stupid choice.”

'Without education, the ambitions of the cabinet will remain what they are now: nice words'

Ambitions

“The cabinet is committed to housing and the energy transition. And yes, a lot needs to be done there, but that will only work if professionals get to work. Think of architects, construction workers, but also IT professionals and installers. They must be trained. And we as 'BV Nederland' really need teachers for that. Education therefore also belongs on the government's list of priorities. Without education, the ambitions of the cabinet will remain what they are now: beautiful words.”

Did the cabinet already offer education during the previous Budget Day no new perspective, today education has to make do with a verbal pat on the back. “Thanks to all the people in education and childcare,” said King Willem-Alexander.

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