CDA joins parties wanting study grants to replace student loans
An increasing number of political parties are making reintroducing the basic study grant part of their program for the parliamentary election next year. After the PvdA, GroenLinks, D66, SGP, and ChristenUnie, the CDA is now the latest party to do so, the Volkskrant reports.
The CDA wants students who live away from home to get a basic grant of between 300 and 600 euros, depending on their parents' income. For students still living with their parents, the minimum grant should be 150 euros, rising to 450 euros for students whose parents have low incomes. If the basic grant is reintroduced, students should still have access to annual public transport passes, according to the party.
CDA parliamentarian Harry van der Molen, number 9 on the CDA's new candidate list and party spokesperson for higher education, told the Volkskrant that his party has always been opposed to the student loan system. "It has become the government's ATM, with which many students have invested in maximum debt for zero percent interest."
The CDA is the latest in a line of parties who want to reintroduce the basic study grant. The PvdA wants a basic grant, as well as compensation for students forced to take out loans since the student loan system was introduced in 2015. This must be funded by introducing a top tax rate of 60 percent.
GroenLinks' election program has a variant of this. In addition to the basic grant, all 18-year-olds should receive a starting capital of 10 thousand euros, the Green party proposed. The party thinks that this can help reduce inequality of opportunities. This starting capital can be funded by taxing the wealthy, according to the party.
The ChristenUnie wants a basic grant of 500 euros for students not living at home, regardless of their parents' income.
D66 and SGP do not want to abolish the loan system, but want a lower threshold for access to the supplementary grant. Students whose parents earn less than 70 thousand euros will then get access to the 400 euros supplementary grant, which works about the same as a basic grant.