Left-wing politics needed to make Netherlands fairer: Labour party leader
The next Dutch government will need to lean a lot more left to make the Netherlands a fairer place to live in, according to PvdA leader Lilianne Ploumen. After being Minister of Foreign Trade in the Rutte II cabinet, Ploumen is very critical of the VVD. "You vote for Mark Rutte, but then you also get the anti-social VVD policy for free," she said in an interview with newspaper NU.nl.
The PvdA wants higher minimum wage, better salaries for teachers and healthcare workers, and equal opportunities in education. To achieve these goals, the labor party thinks a left-wing partner will be needed. "We learned from four years in Rutte II that we no longer want to sit in the cabinet without another left-wing partner. That could be GroenLinks, but also the SP," Ploumen said.
According to Ploumen, the current Rutte III cabinet did "too little about the problems that people face every day. The cabinet had easy going in the first few years, but refused to invest in the salaries of teachers and people in care. The classes are too full, there are teacher shortages," she said. "I blame them for not doing anything about it. And then they also handed out gifts to the business community in those early years."
"Now is the time to put that right," Ploumen said to NU.nl. "You can reduce inequality, preserve jobs, and achieve economic growth. It is possible."
The PvdA is not worried that their plans to tax the business community with some 42 billion euros until 2025 will lead to a business exodus from the Netherlands. "No, we ask them for a fair contribution," Ploumen said. "Companies that are after profit and want to pay as little tax as possible shouldn't have anything to look for in the Netherlands, right?"
"Most companies are here because we have a well trained workforce, a perfect road network, an airport..." Ploumen said. "They will stay even if they have to pay more tax."