The Dutch business climate has changed significantly in recent years after many major companies decided to establish their headquarters abroad. But political parties are not yet moving in the same direction when it comes to how to deal with this business climate, as became clear during the BNR Finance discussion. “We have to stop pointing fingers,” says VVD MP Elko Heinen.
Heinen is concerned about the fact that politicians are becoming increasingly hostile to business. “The Netherlands is a beautiful country, but we are destroying it at a rapid pace due to the unpredictability of politics,” says the politician. “As a company, you want to know where you stand in five years, but politicians don’t even know where they stand next month. Additionally, we must first enter the conversation from a place of pride, pride in our country’s business community.
Tom van der Lee from GroenLinks-PvdA disagrees with his colleague. “It always bothers me when a member of the VVD says things are broken. If we look at the issue of benefits or damages for the earthquake in Groningen, these are matters for which the VVD is mainly responsible.”
Van der Lee does not believe that the Cabinet should adopt a velvet stance when it comes to treating the Dutch business community. While many companies in the financial sector believe that bank taxes, for example, are too high. However, the politician is not afraid of more companies leaving the Netherlands.
Impact on the business climate
“Unilever’s departure is mainly due to the dual share structure, which was also the case with Shell. DSM moved its head office to Switzerland because that was a requirement of the acquiring party and Boskalis wanted to leave due to an approved law,” van der Lee explains of his appeal. But we will not allow ourselves to be blackmailed.”
Heinen sees it differently, although he agrees that there are more things affecting the business climate than just the bank levy, such as “the expatriate scheme and the Growth Fund takeover”. According to the VVD party member, it is important to engage in discussions with the business community and, above all, not to point fingers at each other “without looking at yourself.”
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BNR Election Discussions
In the run-up to the House of Representatives elections scheduled for November 22, the National Research Authority is organizing eight election debates on specific topics. The discussions are broadcast on BNR and can then be listened to on www.bnr.nl and in your podcast app.
Debate overview and broadcast times:
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