Hoekstra doubles down on cutting unemployment benefits; CDA loses two seats in polls
Christian Democrat Party (CDA) party leader Wopke Hoekstra reacts to claims to cut unemployment benefits in an interview with newspaper de Telegraaf. "I really want to help people who no longer find a job easily," says Hoekstra. "I think it is very good to give more people in the Netherlands security and therefore a permanent contract."
On Thursday, the party leader said that he believed that the "time has come" to shorten the maximum duration of unemployment benefits from two years to one. This was followed by a significant backlash among other political parties.
Hoekstra, however, doubled down on his proposal, which is part of a recommendation from the committee on the regulation of work (Borstlap committee) that the CDA wants to adopt. "The labor market must be improved and people must be helped to find a job again more quickly. That is why we increase the benefit at the beginning if someone becomes unemployed. This plan will need to be discussed post-Corona so that people find a job faster with better education and career opportunities," says Hoekstra
Shortening the unemployment benefit scheme will not happen during the crisis, according to the CDA party leader.
The CDA has come under fire which is reflected in the poll numbers. This week, an estimate by pollster Maurice de Hond shows that the Christian Democrats lost two seats in the House of Representatives. They went from 19 down to 17 seats. The latest poll winners are liberal party D66, which increased their seat number from 13 to 14. The right-wing populist party Forum for Democracy also gained one place and is now on five seats. Finally, the pro-Europe party Volt also gained one seat. The current poll shows that they would hold two seats in the House of Representatives.