Dutch MPs plan American-style filibuster to save home owners' tax credit

Tweede Kamer
The Chairman's seat at the Tweede Kamerphoto: JanKranendonk / DepositPhotos

A marathon debate akin to the American style filibuster is starting in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, on Tuesday. Parliamentarians asked for over 36 hours of talk time to debate the abolition of the so-called Hillen law - a law that gives tax credit to mortgages that have been repaid or almost repaid. The idea behind this marathon debate is to stall the abolition of this law, RTL Nieuws reports.

The PVV requested 1,200 minutes of speaking time, 50Plus wants 900 minutes. Other parties requested no more than 30 minutes.

The Rutte III government wants to gradually abolish the Hillen law over a period of 30 years starting in 2019. To achieve this timeline, the abolition must be approved by both the Tweede Kamer and Eerste Kamer, the Dutch Senate, by the end of the year. The PVV and 50Plus want to prevent this from happening by dragging the parliamentary debate out as long as possible. There is virtually no chance that the Tweede Kamer will vote against the abolition, as the four coalition parties have a majority in the Kamer.

According to 50Plus, after years of encouraging people to pay off their mortgage, those who managed to do so are now presented with a bill. The party calls it a "settlement fine". 

In the United States, this parliamentary delaying tactic is called a filibuster.