political reflectionsLast night, the VVD had to dig into its pockets to get enough support in the House of Representatives for next year’s budget. Don’t miss general policy reflections on our live blog at the bottom of this article.
Martin van Ast, Tobias den Hartog, Peter Winterman
In fact, the outgoing government, led by the leader of the VVD party Mark Root, did not want to allocate more than a small billion euros to adjusting the budget. Opposition parties have been summoned in recent days to listen to their wishes. It turned out last night that the state parties VVD, D66 and CDA had to significantly increase their offerings. Under pressure from a reluctant House of Representatives – and with the support of ChristenUnie – the offer was doubled to €2 billion.
This amount is intended, among other things, for additional investments in the armed forces (300 million euros) and a lower energy bill (500 million) for citizens and companies. The landlord tax will also be reduced to allow for the construction of more social rented housing (500 million). The salary difference between primary school teachers and teachers in secondary education will also be reduced (500 million). There will also be an additional budget for community officers and green boas (200 million).
“Many parties want to do more to build affordable homes, raise salaries for teachers and nurses and allocate more money for safety,” said D66 chairman Rob Gettin last night, hours after negotiating the budget. This happened mainly behind the scenes at the center of public political reflections.
“We show that if we listen to each other, we can really take extra steps,” Gettin says. “That’s nice after the bickering of the past few months.”
VVD leader Sophie Hermanns announced earlier this week that €800-900 million were available to “add” to the budget. This amount became available after the VVD decided not to allocate this money anymore for corporate tax credit. It has become a “lubricating oil” for keeping middle ends like PvdA, GroenLinks, ChristenUnie and SGP on friendly terms with the goal of discontinued formation. The support of these parties may be needed to form a minority or majority government.
PvdA and GroenLinks, in particular, have regularly reported that Hermans’ bid has been very lean during public considerations. For example, they wanted to abolish the owner tax (1.5 billion euros per year) completely. Ruth refused. However, he was willing to talk about a significant reduction in the owner’s tax.
Yesterday morning it was announced that the interim government is still allocating €675 million for higher wages in care. In fact, the locker didn’t want to pull out the wallet and was always referring to a new locker. But the House protested again last week. Since ChristenUnie no longer feels obligated to the coalition at this point, the salary clause has won a majority.
Yesterday, the House of Representatives insisted that the salary increase would be paid for by the increase in corporate income tax. Ruti initially did not want to promise that, according to him, it was not legally possible. The opposition parties were angry about this. Socialist party leader Lillian Mariensen called it “really nonsense”: “If you want to, you can do it.” Last night, Prime Minister VVD finally surrendered.
He announced with a wide smile that a cover had been found, in part by increasing the profit tax by more than 400 million euros. Funds for other plans will also be found by allowing the budget deficit to rise slightly.
With these sacrifices from the VVD, Rutte hopes it will now be easier to move forward with the formation of a new government next week. ‘I think we can take that step together,’ VVD member Hermans said last night. ,,. This makes me proud. Proud of this parliament. I really hope we can take this a step further. Not just on the budget and not just for 2022, but on standing by each other more than facing each other.”
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