"People above multinationals": Left-wing parties present alternative budget

2019 budget ready to be presented to the Tweede Kamer, Prinsjesdag, 18 Sept 2018
2019 budget ready to be presented to the Tweede Kamer, Prinsjesdag, 18 Sept 2018Photo: Ministry of Finance / @Financien / Twitter

GroenLinks, SP and PvdA, the three largest left-wing parties in the Tweede Kamer, together presented an alternative budget that puts "people above multinationals" on Wednesday. They call for more investments in society and in the "livelihood of all Dutch people", Het Parool reports. 

The three parties want to push 2 billion euros into higher wages and lower workloads for healthcare workers, teachers and police officers, among others. They also want to reduce the healthcare deductible, something that will cost 1.9 billion euros. The parties set money aside to let people with taxing jobs retire earlier, for fighting poverty, and for affordable and sustainable rental housing. They also want to freeze the state pension age at 66 and scrap a VAT increase on groceries.

The money for these measures can be raised by scrapping the government's planned tax cuts, which mainly benefit people with higher income. If GroenLinks, SP and PvdA have their way, millionaires will pay more taxes on their assets and bank tax will increase. The parties also want to scrap a reduction in corporate tax and the abolition of dividend tax.

50Plus will present its own alternative budget. The party wants to lower retirement age to 65 in 2020, reduce the healthcare deductible, and calls for an increase in state pension, minimum wage and welfare. Like the left-wing parties, 50Plus will 'pay' for these measures by leaving corporate tax and dividend tax as they currently stand. The party also wants to limit tax arrangements for entrepreneurs, increase excise duties on alcohol and tobacco, and invest in the tax authorities because this will lead to higher tax revenues the party believes.