Election results will almost certainly increase minimum wages: ABN Amro
With the election results as they stand now, minimum wage in the Netherlands will almost certainly increase, according to ABN Amro economists. State pension and social assistance benefits could also see an increase, though this is more uncertain, they predicted based on the possible coalitions' election campaigns, ANP reports.
If the cabinet is formed from a center-right coalition, the minimum wage increase will likely be limited to around 10 percent. Both largest party VVD and likely coalition partner CDA want to ditch the link between minimum wage and social assistance benefits. Their plans could also result in state pension increasing less rapidly than minimum wage, according to the bank.
But if one or more left-wing parties like GroenLinks or PvdA join the coalition, the minimum wage increase could turn higher, the economists said. Social assistance and the state pension could then also probably increase a bit more. The greater the increase, the greater the chance that it will be done in steps and linked to developments on the labor market.
In addition to looking at wages and income, the new cabinet will likely also pay attention to flexible work. Recent advice from the Borstlap committee called the government to set higher minimum wage in flex contracts and to introduce strict rules for low-paid self-employed workers and temporary workers. This will likely lead to higher wage costs for employers and encourage a greater revision of taxes and subsidies, the economists said.
With 91 percent of votes counted at around 1:45 p.m., the biggest parties will most likely be the VVD with 35 seats and the D66 with 24 seats. Mark Rutte said the VVD and D66 talking about a coalition was obvious, and that he'd like to involve the CDA (15 seats). That's one seat shy of a majority in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament.
D66 leader Sigrid Kaag said on Thursday that she does not want to speculate on coalition partners yet, saying that she wants to "start having conversations based on content. First the what and how and then with whom."
PvdA leader Lilianne Ploumen said that the PvdA would consider being part of the coalition, but only if there's another left-wing party also in the cabinet. SP leader Lilian Marijnissen said that her party is "always willing to talk", but participating in the cabinet is not the obvious choice.