The opposition in the House of Representatives has once again argued in the General Political Considerations for structural wage increases in the health care sector. SP, GroenLinks, PvdA and PVV once again stressed that people in that sector need more than twice a one-off payment (this year 1,000 euros and next year 500 euros).
They do not see any point in the cabinet having an SER committee carry out an investigation into employment conditions in the healthcare sector. That committee should come up with an opinion in six months time. According to the opposition, there is no need for a committee, but salaries should be raised permanently. VVD group chairman Dijkhoff said that there is already room for wage increases and that it would be good to have the further bottlenecks surrounding employment conditions investigated.
Deduction of investments
The opposition also criticised the governments plan to allow entrepreneurs in certain cases to deduct a percentage of the investments made from wage tax. According to the opposition, this proposal is completely unsubstantiated and the money would be better spent on care.
VVD Group Chairman Dijkhoff defended the deduction correctly. He emphasised that entrepreneurs are struggling as a result of the corona crisis and that the Cabinet wants to help companies to invest and thereby save jobs. The Cabinets proposal amounts to EUR 2 billion. The opposition happens to think that this is as much as it would cost to abolish dividend tax. “It looks just like the musical Soldier of Orange. Every year you think it stops, but they go on anyway”, said Green Left group chairman Klaver.
Dijkhoff also discussed the role of the government. It has recently been said of the VVD that it is increasingly distancing itself from liberalism, a movement in which the freedom of the individual is paramount. Dijkhoff said that he is in favour of a strong government. In his opinion, this is not the same as a big government, because it stands for high taxes, a lot of civil servants, a lot of forms, plans and fuss, according to the Chairman of the VVD Group.
Dijkhoff said that a strong government does not try to pigeonhole a problem. “A strong government is mainly concerned with implementation, with solving a problem you see in front of you As an example, he mentioned that in the corona crisis, pieces of tape are being applied somewhere on which one and a half metres is written: “That is better than flapping rules every quarter of an hour”
CDA group chairman Heerma argued in favour of a cooperative society, in which public and private interests come together. He spoke about parties such as farmers, nature organisations, local government and others who, in his opinion, should work together and make compromises. He thinks that in 2040 “the whole world wants to copy the polder model”.
VVD and CDA both promised the left-wing opposition that they want to see if rent increases in the free sector can be limited
Rule of law
Earlier in the debate, there was a long discussion about discrimination and the rule of law. PVV leader Wilders raised that subject and a large part of the House attacked him. He was only supported by Forum for Democracy.
Wilders said that recently, in a political trial, he was condemned by wandering lights for his less Moroccan verdict and that the Netherlands is no longer a constitutional state. According to him, the Public Prosecutors Office and the judge have become an extension of the cabinet.
He spoke of an intensely corrupt country, in which freedom of expression is not protected. According to him, there is a politically correct dictatorship of the left-liberal majority.
Wilders believes that the discrimination story is being heavily exaggerated. He distanced himself from King Willem-Alexanders comments on this in the Speech from the Throne. The king said that in the Netherlands someones skin colour or name too often determines his chances. Wilders stated that Dutch people are being scolded on the streets and that they are being discriminated against. He repeated that the Netherlands has a Moroccan problem. Moreover, according to him there is class justice.
GroenLinks-forman Klaver called Wilders statements about the rule of law life-threatening. According to him, Wilders gives the impression that certain groups do not have to abide by the rules. Klaver asked Wilders whether farmers, for example, should follow instructions from the police not to block motorways.
The PVV leader then said that he would not allow himself to be “forced into casuistry”, but that the question of whether or not you will ultimately go to court depends on what ideas you have.
New nuclear power stations
The government parties VVD and CDA want the government to seriously investigate what is needed to entice companies to build a new nuclear power plant. There has been a parliamentary majority in favour of more nuclear power stations for some time now, but in practice commercial companies are not interested in this. The General Considerations also revealed that D66 and GroenLinks want to lay down in the Climate Act that greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990. At the moment it still contains a target of 49%.
CDA and ChristenUnie argue in favour of a planning bureau for security. The group chairmen, Mr Heerma and Mr Segers, stress that crises follow one another in rapid succession and that their complexity is growing. They refer to the corona crisis.
“The CDA believes that the fact that almost all countries in the world were so ill-prepared for a national health crisis is an important example. The new Planning Bureau should look ahead to risks of existence that could come to us in the longer term. Earlier, the Scientific Council for Government Policy also recommended setting up such a planning office.