On Budget Day, which is known as Prince’s Day, the King delivers his speech to the Dutch government in a traditional setting. The Speech from the Throne not only opens the parliamentary year, but also announces the government’s most important plans for the coming year.
This year’s Budget Memorandum touched upon only one the North-related topic: the distress caused by gas extraction, as reports the Dagblad van het Noorden. Mentioning the problem in his speech for the fifth year in a row, King Willem-Alexander promised that houses in earthquake-hit parts of Groningen may ‘count on more urgency’ from the government.
The Lelyline, a fast train connection between the North and the Randstad, was not included in the Budget Day plans. The Dutch government does not have clear plans for funding a project that would be beneficial for the three northern provinces yet. Groningen, Friesland and Drenthe have to work together in order to convince Finance Minister, Wopke Hoekstra, that the Lelyline can be considered as a project that will ‘strengthen the economy in the long term’ and, consequently, receive financial support from Hoekstra who wants to ‘invest tens of billions’ in such long-term projects.