Left-wing opposition parties present alternative government agreement

The three left-wing opposition parties are presenting an alternative plan for the Rutte III government agreement on Tuesday. GroenLinks, SP and PvdA's government agreement includes six plans under the title "People over multinationals", NU.nl reports.

The parties' plans mainly have to do with taxes and climate.

GroenLinks, SP and PvdA want to scrap the increase of the low VAT rate, and pay for this by not lowering income tax for multinationals. They want better salaries for nurses, police, teachers and military personnel, paid for by an additional tax on banks. They also want to make it possible for employees to retire earlier. The cost of this can be covered by an additional tax on millionaires.

The left-wing parties reiterate their plea for abolishing the healthcare own risk deductible, something all three parties advocated for during their election campaigns. This can be done by scrapping the new government's proposed income tax reform, in which there will be two tax brackets instead of the current four. According to the parties, the so called social level tax is especially beneficial for people with mid-level and high level income.

The parties also want to further strengthen the new government's climate policy. Companies will be charged more for their CO2 emissions. Regular households will also see an increase in their energy bills. The Rutte III government agreement already imposes higher taxes on the electricity sector. 

The three parties want to close two coal fired power plants in this cabinet period - the Hemweg central in Amsterdam and the Engie central in Rotterdam. The Rutte III government also wants to close the coal fired power plants, but only by 2030. 

The final plan in the alternative government agreement involves building and renovating more affordable rental homes.

According to party leaders Jesse Klaver of GroenLinks, Emile Roemer of SP and Lodewijk Asscher of PvdA, they want to show that "other choices really are possible". 

The Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, is debating the Rutte III government agreement on Wednesday and Thursday.