March 20, 2020 / 3:47 PM / 12 days ago

UPDATE 1-Dutch government to borrow extra 45-65 billion euros in next 3 months

(Updates with details)

AMSTERDAM, March 20 (Reuters) - The Dutch government expects its borrowing needs in the coming three months will be 45-65 billion euros ($48-$70 billion) more than expected to fund the cost of its response to the coronavirus outbreak, the country’s finance minister said in a letter to parliament.

The Dutch government has announced an emergency package of up to 20 billion euros in help for businesses to continue paying workers. Wopke Hoekstra said in the letter the Cabinet is preparing for a sharp drop in expected tax income.

“In combination with the measures on the spending side and the uncertainty around that, the Cabinet expects an extra financing need of 45-65 billion euros in the coming three months,” Hoekstra said. “That will have consequences for the national debt. We can bear that because government finances are in order.”

The Dutch national debt was 395 billion euros as of the end of the third quarter, according to data from the country’s statistics office, approximately 49% of gross domestic product (GDP).

$1 = 0.9316 euros Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Toby Chopra

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