50Plus leader Den Haan calls on her party mate Ellen Verkoelen to comply with the party‘s election programme. Otherwise, she thinks she should withdraw as a candidate for the parliamentary elections. Cooling is number 3 on the dial list of 50Plus. She says in a reaction to DeccEit that she feels’ robbed ‘by the statements of Den Haan.
The latter responded to previous criticism from Verkoelen in HetCCEit Radio 1 Journal and in a Livecceit broadcast on Facebook and YouTube. The number 3 on the list does not agree with Den Haan’s statements about the Dutch pension system.
Crackling pension system
Den Haan has been leader of 50Plus since last year. Under its predecessor Henk Krol, the elderly party has always been committed to an AOW pension age of 65 years. The party‘s election programme, which Den Haan wants Verkoelen to comply with, also states that the party wants a full AOW pension allowance at the age of 65.
But Den Haan wants to stick to the 67 years agreed in the pension agreement as a “benchmark”. However, she thinks that there should be a savings scheme for people who want to retire earlier.
Cool down and other party leaders feel that their new leader thus releases the core points of 50Plus. Den Haan thinks that’s nonsense. According to her, the current pension system is not future-proof. “We are all getting older, there are fewer young people. This system is cracking at its seams, we really need to go to something else.”
You used to go to work at 15, she continues. “Then you worked until you were 65 and you could enjoy your pension for another 10 to 15 years. Today‘s children may be 100 years old. You can’t work 40 years and enjoy 40 years of your pension, which is untenable.”
Cultural change ‘hard necessary’
Den Haan finds it “very sad” that there has been fuss on this subject within her party. She strives for a cultural change, she said in the Livecceit broadcast on social media. “That is very necessary and it is not just done.”
About Cooling, she said, “If the number 3 is having trouble with the election program and the leader, withdraw. If she does not withdraw, we have to talk to each other, because everyone has to comply with the programme. That was stated by Members, not by me.”
“Not a word of Spanish at”
Cooling says in response to DeccEit that it adheres precisely to the electoral programme. “It says very hard that 65-year-olds should receive a full AOW pension benefit. There‘s not a word of Spanish.”
The number 3 on the list speaks of the “crown jewel” of 50Plus. “If Mrs Den Haan says she has another message, we have a big problem. It must be clear to the electorate what we stand for.”
Cooling acknowledges that her party has a bit of a ‘quarreling culture‘, but the content – AOW pension and pensions – never went on, she says. “Until now. I was ambushed by it.”
According to Verkoelen, who is currently the chairman of the group of 50Plus in Rotterdam, it can always happen that her party eventually has to do something on certain subjects. “But then you have to go back to the members, and ask them if they find it acceptable.” You should not change all your story in advance, she emphasizes.
Look here for excerpts from the live broadcast with Den Haan:
Internal stuff is 50Plus not weird. Last year, quarreling led to a crisis after which the entire party board left. Group chairman Henk Krol also resigned.
His successor Den Haan states that the majority of 50Plus consists of positive people. “Those should be given attention. People who, based on their behaviour, might think they want to harm the party.”
The new leader also said that four years ago she voted ‘absolutely not‘ for 50Plus. “People were in favour of preserving the pension system, where I think that’s just not possible. People were in favour of a national health fund that I was not in favour of. And the party was only dealing with one issue, only for pensioners, who also have concerns about their children and grandchildren.”