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Dutch coalition revamps unpopular austerity plan

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) - Newly installed Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte says he is dumping part of an austerity package just days after it was unveiled to widespread disapproval from members of his own party.

Rutte's initial plan to raise revenue and cut the gap between rich and poor by making the wealthy pay higher health care premiums has been scrapped following revelations that it would cost some wealthy families thousands of euros more per year than expected.

Rutte said Monday the savings would now be made by raising income taxes for the wealthy.

The unpopular original measure and its replacement were hammered out by Rutte's conservative VVD party and its new coalition partner, the center-left Labor Party.

Rutte acknowledged he "should have taken more time to study" the effects of the original plan.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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