Pols debate economy, voter turnout

MPs of the major parties in the House of Parliament are concerned about the expected low voter turnout at the municipal council election on the 19th of March. 

The parties emphasized a need for strong, good leadership, as municipalities are getting more power. They expressed these and other concerns in a televised debate on the tv-show Pauw en Witteman.

"These elections are of crucial importance" said PvdA leader Samsom. Accoring to surveys, it is possible that less than 50 percent of voters will be going to the polls this election. "That is a real problem", D66 leader Pechtold said.

"The municipality is going to be the first government for people. The municipality is more important than ever", CDA leader Buma emphasized.

According to opposition party SP, politics can blame itself for this disinterest. "We have to look at ourselves. We are talking above their heads" SP leader Roemer said. At the municipal council elections of 2010, there was a turnout of 54.1 percent.

During the elections debate between the five parties VVD, PvdA, CDA, SP and D66, the national chairmen debated jobs, tax hikes, care, housing and education.

Opposition parties SP and CDA blame the governing parties of too much austerity, and want the tax hike to be turned back immediately.

PvdA leader Samsom invited the SP to work together on the implementation of decentralizing care to the municipalities. SP leader Roemer did not accept the invitation and called the care plans "unacceptable."

"There is 1.2 billion being cut back. Municipalities can't do that. Fifty to a hundred thousand people are getting sacked. It is impossible and irresponsible."

Samsom did not get uneasy about the threat of MP Slob of the ChristenUnie that he would pull out his support to the cabinet if the prohibition of illegality continues. According to Samsom, Slob has the same claims as the PvdA against this plan. According to Samsom, state secretary Teeven of Security will hear these complaints.

The PVV was also invited to the debate, but MP Wilders did not want to be part of a VARA programme.