The Socialist Party wants to leave the opposition benches now that there is increasing room in the political scene. According to party leader Lilian Marinissen, it is time to solve the problems surrounding purchasing power, immigration and housing.
The party did not perform well in opinion polls, and a number of popular representatives resigned after the elections. This doesn’t change the fact that Marinissen is still able to fight.
“We see that new times are beginning to emerge,” she says in a wide-ranging conversation with NU.nl. “The political era of Mark Rutte is over. There will be more room for our ideas.”
She indicated that it was time for the Socialist Party to join the government. Why now, when the party has lost again at the polls?
“More and more political parties are talking about topics that the Socialist Party put on the agenda earlier. This is about social security, the lack of health care and the government that should exist for the people. I want to prevent all of these things from being empty. Election promises and that nothing will happen.” Changes after November 22nd.
There is more room for the Socialist Party to participate in governance. What do you mean by that?
“New parties are involved in the elections and we can work well with them. For example, with the party of Peter Omtzgut, with whom we also put the benefits scandal on the map. But also with Caroline van der Plas from the BBB. These are the parties that have the problems in society. So “I definitely see opportunities there.”
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So an alliance with GL-PvdA, Omtzigt and BBB might be an obvious choice?
“Yes, the Socialist Party can keep these parties on their toes.”
Since she succeeded Emil Romer as party leader, the Socialist Party has had little success. Haven’t you thought about making room yourself?
“No, not at all. In fact, party members asked me to do it. I’m more excited than ever. Moreover, politically, there are a lot of opportunities.”
A number of important MPs (Rinski Litten, Peter Quint) quit that day or have already resigned. They point out, among other things, that In opposition Everything is moving so slowly that nothing can be accomplished. There is disappointment and frustration. Did you see that coming?
“That’s not so bad considering our faction is made up of the same people as in the previous period. No one resigned after that. Now Rinsky Laiten has resigned as MP and Peter Quint has resigned as well. But they were active in the House of Representatives.” For seventeen and sixteen years . So it’s very healthy for people to do something different. Being a member of Parliament requires a lot of people. “So I understand that after so many years of struggle, they will do something different.”
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Immigration is considered one of the most important topics during the elections for many parties. Among the measures being considered are freezing asylum, limiting immigration, closing European Union borders and capping immigration. Why is SP so hesitant?
“We mainly call for reducing labor migration because it puts pressure on housing and amenities. Moreover, these workers are often victims of exploitation. It is a matter of cleaning with the tap running. We see this again when we visit neighborhoods. Residents see it and the quality of Life in their neighborhoods. Recruitment agencies buy owner-occupied homes at affordable prices en masse in order to subdivide them and hire migrant workers.
But how will you limit the number of migrant workers?
“There must be a complete pause on labor migration. We must use the time to get things back on track. For example, by tackling exploitation and the long-term permit system. We are not against labor migration, but as a company we need employees from abroad, They must be able to prove it.”
But isn’t there free movement of people in the European Union? Doesn’t this mean that someone from Poland, for example, could start here?
“Yes, but we are also against the free movement of people within the European Union. We have always opposed it, because we already anticipated these problems. And now we are right, because it cannot be done this way.”
But who do you think will do all the work in the distribution centers, meat processing and horticulture?
“That’s food for thought, isn’t it?”
Please answer the question: Who will do this work?
“We want to stop. This does not mean that the nearly one million migrant workers in our country doing important work should leave. We have to ask ourselves what jobs we still want in our country.”
“I was recently in Horst aan de Maas where a new distribution center is being built. There are no employees there, so hundreds of migrant workers are being brought in for housing. This is not bringing anything to the area. So we can just stop it.”
Meanwhile, asylum seeker centers are filling up, and some villages no longer have room to receive refugees. How are you going to address this problem?
“People there point out that the centers for asylum seekers are too large. There are simply too many for such a small village. Moreover, there are many inconveniences that cause a lot of frustration. This needs to be dealt with more strictly.”
This concerns so-called “safe territory residents” who cannot be returned to their countries of origin. Wasn’t this politically known a long time ago?
“Yes, but of course the government is failing miserably to do anything about it.”
What are you going to do about it then?
“Anyway, acknowledge the problem. Furthermore, it should be clear to these safe residents more quickly that they have no right to be here, so they can return more quickly. These procedures simply take too long, which also means that These people will remain in our country for a longer period. Moreover, stricter agreements must be concluded with the country of origin to take back these people as quickly as possible.
The SP believes that employees are now entitled to a share of the profits. Is this justified since many companies already offer dividends?
“We believe that employees should have a greater say in the company they work for. For example, a place on the supervisory board, so they can participate in decisions regarding mergers, acquisitions or greening. The business community makes billions in profits and globally.” At the same time, the costs borne by people rise. We want to do something about this injustice. Profits now go to shareholders and not to the people who worked for them.”
SP wants to increase the minimum wage to €16. Where should that money come from?
“We want to pay a large portion of this from corporate profits tax. Furthermore, there should be an additional tax bracket for profits above $1 million. Furthermore, increasing the minimum wage could give a boost to small and medium-sized businesses.” “Businesses, because people with less income have more to spend.”
Employers do not like this, as there is a possibility that this will end up at the expense of recruitment due to higher wage costs. Do you think they have a point there?
“No, of course wage costs will rise, but in the meantime profits will also rise. Wages cannot lag behind and prices rise. Then people will suffer.”
Multinational companies may be able to afford that, but that doesn’t apply to SMEs, right?
“SMEs can really benefit from this, as people have more to spend at the bakery, hairdresser or café if the minimum wage goes up. Of course we want to do everything we can to reduce costs for SMEs. Then you should consider “Rent reduction,” assistance with energy bills and tax deductions. But we want to raise money from big companies that are making hysterical profits.”
Are there currently enough social housing units in our country?
“No, we believe that the rent limit should be raised so that more people are eligible for social housing. Furthermore, housing associations should invest in rental properties instead of bulldozing residential areas. This will lead to more expensive housing being built. So we should That tenants were given more say rather than being evicted from their homes.”
NU.nl spreekt in aanloop naar 22 november met verschillende lijsttrekkers.
- Lees hier het interview met JA21-lijsttrekker Joost Eerdmans terug.
- Lees hier het interview met Partij voor de Dieren-lijsttrekker Esther Ouwehand terug.
De komende dagen verschijnen er meer interviews. Abonneer je via de optie hieronder om niets te missen.
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