Important part of opposition parties demands: youth care cuts off the table

An important part of the opposition is turning against cuts in youth care. The cabinet has no majority in the Senate and therefore hopes mainly for support from PvdA and GroenLinks or JA21 for government policy. It is precisely those three parties that speak out against the youth care plans.

In the debate on the government statement that begins Tuesday, those three parties will demand that the cuts of half a billion in youth care, which this cabinet is booking for the longer term, go off the table. โ€œThis is unwise,โ€ says GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver. โ€œEspecially in a place where there are already huge waiting lists, if you‘re going to cut back on that, then the consequences can be disastrous.โ€

JA21 foreman Joost Eerdmans calls the austerity plans โ€œunexistableโ€. The three opposition parties come up with a joint motion and other opposition parties are likely to join in this. โ€œI think those children should not be in the cold,โ€ says Eerdmans.

There

are waiting lists in youth care and municipalities say that there have been enormous problems for years. The municipalities get too little money from the Empire to be able to help all children. As a result, a part of the municipalities were forced to cut back on other expenses, such as swimming pools, in order to be able to afford the care.

The municipalities receive money for a number of years to solve these problems, says in the coalition agreement. That had already been agreed before, after the intervention of a committee of wise men. But the municipalities were shocked when they read that the amount agreed to improve youth care in the long term has been deducted from half a billion a year. Although the municipalities get more money than they get today, less than was agreed on what is needed to provide good youth care.

Consultations denied

The Hague mayor Jan van Zanen is also chairman of the Association of Dutch Municipalities (VNG) and in that role called the cuts โ€œunseemlyโ€, moreover, these would go against previous agreements. Last Thursday, he called this cabinet plan a plan โ€œwith consequences that are unacceptable for municipalities, residents – vulnerable young people – and very agitated for the relations between them.โ€ The VNG refuses to discuss with the cabinet about the improvements in youth care as long as the cabinet wants to continue the cuts.

GroenLinks leader Klaver says he will vote against the cuts. Klaver does not want to threaten to vote out certain budgets in the Senate, he hopes that the cabinet will listen and that threat is not necessary. When asked if there is better to do business with him if the cabinet forgoes this cut, he does say: โ€œIn the end, if the coalition is benevolent on this, you can also expect something in return from us. Of course.โ€ Eerdmans emphasizes that it can become difficult for the cabinet to find a majority in the Senate now that these three opposition parties are joining forces.

Last week, the Central Planning Bureau (CPB) criticized cabinet plans to cut back on youth care. The CPB then wrote that the cabinet could try to achieve that savings of half a billion by introducing its own contribution or by agreeing a maximum treatment time. However, the CPB calculators refused to pass on the plans โ€œbecause these proposals are insufficiently worked outโ€.

More helplepoints

Secretary of State Maarten van Ooijen (Health) said last week in response to the concerns of municipalities: โ€œI am going to talk to municipalities about this and, of course, also discuss their concerns with my colleagues, the Minister of the Interior and the Secretary of State for Finance who discuss the municipal fund goes. The cabinet wants to work in a broad sense together with municipalities on sustainable, stable financing of municipalities in the coming period.โ€ Van Ooijen also immediately referred to Tuesday’s debate on the government statement and added: โ€œI am confident that we will come out of this together.โ€

In the debate on the government declaration, not only will there be criticism of the plans for youth care, but the entire coalition agreement will be under scrutiny during this debate. For example, that the cabinet does not want the state pension to rise as hard as the minimum wage is also sensitive. But the fact that the national debt increases in the long term is also a point of criticism. Just like the way in which the cabinet spends money on funds, without having many plans for this, lies sensitive with a number of parties. Left-wing parties is bothering that the cabinet would do too little to tax assets.