New Dutch govt. to have 16 ministers, 9 state secretaries
The Rutte III cabinet will have 16 Ministers and 9 State Secretaries, bringing the total up to 25, sources told newspaper AD. This is quite the turnaround for Prime Minister and VVD leader Mark Rutte, who with his past to cabinets repeatedly spoke about a "smaller and powerful government".
"I want a small and powerful government and small cabinets, so that everyone is a bit too busy", Rutte said previously after complaints that the Ministers and State Secretaries in his current government have too much to do and therefore make mistakes. "The whole problem is that with more officials, you see that they go looking for work to justify their salary." The Rutte II government has 13 Ministers and 7 State Secretaries.
According to the newspaper, sources around the government formation table are wondering whether there is in fact enough work for a cabinet of 25. "The weird thing is that we are now first determining that there must be nine State Secretaries to give all parties sufficient influence, and then think about which departments they should end up in", one involved person said to AD. This is a legitimate problem, Rutte's previous two cabinets consisted of two parties, the Rutte III government will have four.
In the current plan, the VVD will have six Ministers and four State Secretaries, the CDA and D66 each four and two and the ChristenUnie two and one. The extra three Ministers will handle Climate, Immigration and Agriculture.
Over the past days party leaders Rutte, Sybrand Buma (CDA), Alexander Pechtold (D66) and Gert-Jan Segers (CU) discussed how to divide the Minister posts. They did so without their seconds, because they are likely to fill a role as Minister or State Secretary in the next government. According to AD, the D66 has its heart set on heading the Ministry of Climate and Energy, while the CDA would like to head the Ministry of Agriculture.