Social care budget crisis to continue into 2016; Health Sec. "motivated"

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PvdA State Secretary Martin van Rijn managed to survive another parliamentary debate on the issues surrounding the healthcare personal budgets and he is now motivated to get the problems sorted out. Van Rijn promised to give personal budget payouts the priority as long s the system is not functioning properly, adding that the problems will likely continue until next year.

Van Rijn said this on Thursday night, after a long and stressful debate in the Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament, BNR reports.

The SP, GroenLinks and CDA submitted a motion of of no confidence against Van Rijn because of all the problems with the personal budgets. The motion was supported by the PVV and several smaller parties. But the coalition parties VVD and PvdA, along with the so-called constructive opposition parties D66, ChristenUnie and SGP, supported Van Rijn and the motion of no confidence only got 49 votes. Van Rijn survived.

It had to be a tense debate for the State Secretary, as before the debate it seemed that the entire opposition would support the motions. The D66 and CDA had some fierce criticism on the issue in recent weeks, but Alexander Pechtold and Pia Dijkstra of the D66 eventually decided to back down.

"We expressed our doubts again and again in this debate." Dijkstra said to BNR. "But the question that is before us now is: would a vote of no confidence which would have no impact be the best for the personal budget holders and their caregivers?" Pechtold agrees. "It was touch and go. There is now a serious obligation on the Secretary of State who has acknowledged his mistakes, but also on the coalition who indicated before the debate that he may stay." The SGP has a similar opinion. "The personal budget ship has ended up in heavy weather. That's true. But it won't help to send the experienced captain away."


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