Awareness of public finances
As a result of the economic crisis, the public debt of the Netherlands has grown from 45% of GDP in 2007 to as much as 74% of GDP this year. Meanwhile, successive Cabinets have implemented sizeable austerity measures to restore public finances to health. How well-informed are the Dutch about the current magnitude of public debt? To find an answer to this question, respondents in the DNB Household Survey panel were asked about their knowledge of and attitude towards Dutch public finances. Asked about the current amount of public debt, over 20% of respondents were able to provide a reasonably accurate estimate (EUR 450 billion). On average, however, respondents underestimated Dutch public debt by a considerable margin (Chart 1).