VVD leader Rutte promises "no more cutbacks", CDA calls it "a myth"
Leader of the conservative party VVD and current Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, has outlined the contours of his "national recovery plan" when it comes to coronavirus pandemic on paper. The main points are that there will be no cutbacks in the coming years to allow the economy to recover. And that intensive care wards will have a flexible capacity so that it can be scaled up quickly, he says in an interview with AD.
The VVD has gone through the election plans of all other parties and thinks that ideas from those parties can become "building blocks" of the plan. The idea is to create as much support as possible in the new House of Representatives.
If the VVD wins a majority in the upcoming elections, it will propose to cut the formation of a new government into two parts. The envisaged next coalition would first work on the recovery plan. This would then be presented to the new House of Representatives, after which a final agreement would be concluded with as many parties as possible.
Only then will the formation continue. "We really have to make a flying start. We cannot first spend months behind that closed door talking about the water board in 2023. Such a formation has been going on for an insane long time, we certainly cannot have that now," says Rutte. He said that he had already found "starting points" in the plans of other parties, such as the PVV, CDA, PvdA, GroenLinks, SGP, Denk, FvD, Party for the Animals and SP.
As far as he is concerned, the main points are that in the coming years, there will be "no cutbacks" and no taxes that will hinder economic recovery. Support packages for companies and sectors will be continued. He also wants to look at the tax liabilities of entrepreneurs, for example by extending repayment terms. In terms of healthcare, regular care will be scaled up again. And a flexible capacity for IC wards is being set up. As far as the VVD is concerned, there must also be a file in which healthcare personnel are listed as a reserve, so that they can be called up in an emergency.
The VVD leader states that the plan does not have to be developed by the outgoing cabinet now. "There is a hurry, but not that much of a rush. We just don't want the Netherlands to have to wait for us when more is possible in the future. The economy must be able to take off."
Critique from the CDA
Christian Democratic Party leader Wopke Hoekstra has continuously argued that Rutte's austerity measures are "nonesense," saying that it is a "myth that there will be no more cutbacks in the coming years."