Tuesday, 3 May 2016 - 08:31
Cash crunch for major Dutch political parties as membership falls
Declining membership numbers at the CDA, PvdA and VVD is leading to financial problems for the parties. Some of these parties complained about the problem, which is approaching a critical point according to members, at the Ministry of Home Affairs. But so far wit no result, the Volkskrant reported on Tuesday. The parties' earnings model is in trouble due to a combination of less contribution and less subsidy. The amount of the government subsidy is partly based on the number of members, a fixed part and a part that is depended on the number of seats in parliament. The membership based subsidy consists of a fixed amount each year divided by the total number of members of all political parties. Each party then gets a contribution for each of its members. As the CDA, VVD and PvdA are losing members faster than the other parties, they get an ever-smaller proportion of the total. The declining membership numbers has been a problem for these parties for decades. But according to their boards, it is now threatening the parties' functioning. Campaign funds, among other things, are running out and personnel is too expensive. In the Volkskrant the parties call for a different subsidy system. VVD treasurer Ger Jaarsma thinks that a new, better system should be implemented "yesterday". CDA treasury manager Bart van Meijl wants the fixed part of the subsidy to be higher so that member and seats losses have less impact on the party assets. .