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24 million extra for culture? Will do. Matter of 'cash shift'.

There is no such thing as free money. The Ministry of Education has already more often show. Extra money turns out to be a cigar from its own pocket. The ministry's cash transfers elevated to an art.

Of course, it sounds so nice, all that additional money for the cultural sector, but where did that actually come from? Simple: by abolishing tax breaks for individuals with listed buildings. Because, the consideration: 'putting the national budget in structural order also requires measures in the budget of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science'.

Priority

The law 'tax measures for national monuments' is a regulation that allows private owners of properties that are national monuments to deduct the costs of maintenance of their property for tax purposes as a personal deduction. This turns out to be undesirable, because 'after all, it is the private monument owners who determine what maintenance is carried out on the monumental building and when. The government has no influence on the priority of maintenance (overdue or not).'

Abolish so it is proposal, obviously also with the aim of 'simplifying the tax system', and yep, there we suddenly find that 24 million. Even a million more, but a little reserve never hurts.

In the piece 'Amendment to 2001 Income Tax Act to abolish deduction of expenditure on listed buildings and deduction of education expenses' it literally says:

Ending the tax deduction of expenditure on listed buildings from 2017 will result in a structural saving of €57 million, of which €25 million will be used structurally to solve state-wide budget problems. The remaining €32 million will be deployed in 2017 and 2018 for a non-fiscal transitional arrangement. The policy letter detailing this transitional arrangement will be sent to the House of Representatives in October 2016. Starting in 2019, the €32 million will be structurally deployed within a recalibrated funding system for monument care.

Less

Worryingly, the 25 million can be deployed government-wide, so does not even have to stay within the Ministry of OCW, but fortunately we also read that extra money will be used 'to balance the budget of OCW'. A direct link between the 25 million cut in monuments and the 24 million 'extra' is not made. So it could well be that at the end of the bill, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science will not spend more on culture, but rather a million less, dead on.

Not to mention many thousands of people who knowingly and with good intentions bought a monument but may now be unable to maintain it. The website The Heritage Voice, meanwhile, is holding a blog at with all responses.

Henri Drost

Henri Drost (1970) studied Dutch and American Studies in Utrecht. Sold CDs and books for years, then became a communications consultant. Writes for among others GPD magazines, Metro, LOS!, De Roskam, 8weekly, Mania, hetiskoers and Cultureel Persbureau/De Dodo about everything, but if possible about music (theatre) and sports. Other specialisms: figures, the United States and healthcare. Listens to Waits and Webern, Wagner and Dylan and pretty much everything in between.View Author posts

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