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The Hague cracks down on excessive salaries for public employees

Publicly funded agencies and organisations in The Hague who pay their senior officials excessive salaries will no longer be able to do so without repercussions: the Municipality of The Hague has decided to cut subsidies to 10 agencies and organisations where board members or directors earned an annual salary greater than the recommended maximum for senior public officials.

The municipality will deduct the amount of money earned by top managers exceeding 193.000 euros, the so-called "Balkenende norm" (the former prime minister’s annual salary), from the subsidy given by the municipality in 2011. The amounts being deducted range from 8.000 to nearly 220.000 euros.

The ten agencies that received a letter from the Municipality of The Hague include two housing corporations, the student housing organisation Duwo, five health care institutions, Reclassering Nederland, and Leiden University.

The Hague decided in March 2011 that agencies applying for a municipal subsidy have to adhere to the salary norms. The subsidy rules could not be implemented sooner because the 2011 salaries have only just been disclosed.

As Deputy Mayor Sander Dekker (Finance) puts it, "The Hague Municipal Council has debated for years on excessive salaries at a number of organisations financed by public money. Apparently these agencies missed the public discussion raging about these sorts of over-the-top salaries. That’s why it’s now time for action."

Source: The Municipality of The Hague

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