Minister Ollongren van Wonen is seeking support for her budget from various opposition parties. Today she visited PvdA leader Asscher and last Friday she was already a guest at GroenLinks. She needs support from outside the coalition to get her housing budget through parliament.
Ollongren mainly has a problem in the Senate, where the coalition has only 32 seats out of 75. The Minister has a bad relationship with the Senate. In June, a motion of censure was passed against her because she refused to freeze rents for this year.
The left-wing parties do have their demands for support. The PvdA and GroenLinks want a substantial reduction, and preferably abolition, of the landlord levy. They pay housing corporations on their social housing. According to the parties, this tax gets in the way of landlords. As a result, they have too little money to convert and are forced to charge higher rents.
Last week, it appeared that the Cabinet will announce on Budget Day that the levy will be structurally reduced by EUR 200 million, from EUR 1.9 billion to EUR 1.7 billion. Part of that money can be used for rent reductions for people on low incomes, the rest for new buildings.
What we have now is not enough for the Labour Party, said Asscher after the interview with Ollongren. According to the PvdA leader, halving the landlord levy would be a better idea. The cabinet has found the ATM card to tackle the crisis, except for housing
So the Minister had already had a cup of coffee at GroenLinks. A spokesman for the party said: We talked about our opposition to the rent increases. It is precisely in this day and age that we need to build and sustain
Lately, members of the cabinet can be found more often in the corridors of the opposition parties in the Chamber. Ministers Koolmees, Wiebes and Hoekstra were already looking for majorities for their plans.