After ten years of premiership of Mark Rutte, the number of agents has still not increased. Not until 2025, according to current forecasts, there will be more agents than when the National Police started under Rutte.
This while the VVD always talks about the need for more ‘blue’ on the streets in campaign times. But there is little of that, according to figures that Nieuwsuur requested from the police.
When the National Police started in 2012 (before it was not one corps, but several regional corps) there were 52,140 agents. That number fell significantly in the following years, after a small increase of 17 agents in the first year.
Eventually, cops came back, but not as many as they left before. This year, the operational strength is 50,741 agents (including aspirants). When police forecasts come true, there will only be more cops in 2025 than in 2012.
Four years ago, Rutte promised in Nieuwsuur that the situation in the police would improve. But it has only become more acute, says Agent Leen Spoor, who already told Rutte in 2017 that the water is on his lips:
There‘s enough money to pay more cops than there are now. But the police have to deal with understaffing. This is partly due to the fact that there has been cuts in the police academy under the Rutte cabinet. The budget halved. As a result, it proved difficult to train enough extra people when that wish came back.
In Nieuwsuur, Rutte acknowledges that he has cut sharply, “unfortunately on everything”, in 2010. “We were in a serious crisis. Since 2016, 2017 we can invest again, also in the police. This cabinet is pulling out a lot of money for it again. We certainly want to continue with that.”
Dutch people lost more to government
‘More blue on the street‘ is not Rutte’s only broken promise or failed intention. For example, during Rutte‘s premiership, the part of your income that you pay for taxes and social security contributions, the burden has only grown from 35.0 to 38.8 percent. This while Rutte campaigned in 2010 with the text: “An even higher tax is unacceptable for the VVD.”
Rutte does not want to make any new promises “in this special time”, he skewed in his letter to all Dutch people. In the same letter, he does write that he wants to strengthen care. But whether this is really going to happen with the VVD plans is debatable.
The transfer of the Centraal Planbureau shows that the VVD increases healthcare expenses by 7.9 billion euros: no extra euro compared to what would happen if policies were unchanged. According to the CPB calculations, care expenses would grow by this amount in any case.
Rutte thinks that’s enough, he says in Nieuwsuur. “The VVD says quite traditionally that the solution is not always more money. You have to be very careful, it is money that comes back in your health contribution.”
Just jacks on the list?
Rutte also spoke in Nieuwsuur about the Chamber candidates on the VVD list. Does he organize enough contradiction? Of the first 21 on the list, nine have previously been political assistant to a VVD leader. There are also group staff on the list and Rutte‘s former speechwriter.
The JOVD, the youth branch of the VVD, wrote this on Twitter about the candidate list:
According to Rutte, he gets enough defense in his party: “You really don’t have to tell Liberals what to do, they‘re anti-hierarchical, they’re not going to let me tell them how to fill their jobs.”
What is also striking about the list: Compared to other right-wing parties, there are few entrepreneurs in the top. The top ten of the PVV has added up about 25 years of entrepreneurial experience, that of Forum for Democracy even sixty. The VVD has zero. Only one MP in the top ten had a company on paper, but admits she didn‘t actually do anything with it.
This lack of entrepreneurs is also no problem, according to Rutte. “Political office is also a craft, the party stands in the midst of society.”
Entrepreneur Ap de Brown sees that differently. “Don’t laugh, you have to do it now.” He thinks Rutte has lost sight of entrepreneurs: