VVD pushing to end Morocco treaty

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A motion for the termination of the treaty has been presented by MP for VVD Anoushka Schut, which Parliament will debate today. The VVD is tired of waiting for the treaty to go, and is ready to be "an icebreaker."

The VVD is impatient over the height of benefits in Morocco In July 2012, a law passed, determining that the residence is important in the distribution of benefits. This bill was proposed by the previous VVD, CDA Cabinet and supported by a vast majority, bar the SP and Party for Animals.

The law means that someone in Morocco will receive less money, because the cost of living in that country is lower. This ruling never went into practice, however. Bereaved families in Morocco, who would also be deprived by this law, complained in court, and were successful.

These complainants argued that they have rights to the full amount. Article 5 of the treaty states that payment amounts may not be lowered. A petition on this issue from the Dutch government received zero signatures a few weeks ago. Negotiations with Morocco to amend the amount had no success up to now.

The VVD has now presented the motion, which will be voted on today, that argues for the treaty to be dropped. Schut believes that it is no longer responsible "to give bereaved families an allowance that amounts to ten times the minimum wage in Morocco." A majority support for this motion depends on how the CDA and ChristenUnie vote.

Minister Lodewijk Asscher, of Social Affairs, is currently against dropping the treaty, Trouw reports. He sends a letter to explain how he wants to handle the problems with Morocco. He hopes that negotiations will convince Morocco to amend the ruling, so that allowances can be lowered.

Last year, the government controlled assets in Morocco, which revealed €10 million in withheld assets. These kinds of  controls could become more difficult if the treaty is dropped.