Less market control on housing, healthcare planned in draft coalition agreement: report
The VVD and D66 want the next Dutch cabinet to take more control in things like the housing market and healthcare, and thereby reduce market influences on these vital sectors, sources told NRC about the draft coalition agreement the two parties drew up together. Other proposals in in the draft agreement make it seem aimed at cooperation with the left-wing parties, rather than ChristenUnie.
According to NRC's sources, the draft agreement states that the government should take more control over the housing market. In healthcare there must be more cooperation and less competition. Financial incentives on whether or not to provide treatment must be limited as much as possible. The two parties also want to modernize the embryo law, give people control over the end of their lives, and introduce broad bridging classes so that kids aren't forced into a particular direction at a young age.
Informateur Mariette Hamer asked VVD leader Mark Rutte and D66 leader Sigrid Kaag, as the leaders of the two largest parties after the parliamentary elections in March, to draw up this draft document in an attempt to convince other parties to join a coalition based on content. The fact that the CDA will be in the next coalition already seems a foregone conclusion - the VVD and CDA have both been vocal in their determination to keep working together. But at least one more party is needed for a majority in parliament.
The candidates for that party is ChristenUnie, and left-wing parties PvdA, and GroenLinks. The two left-wing parties are determined to only join a cabinet together, so that the left-wing plans don't disappear under those of right-wing duo VVD and CDA.
And based on the plans that leaked from the draft coalition agreement, it seems that the VVD and D66 are also aiming for a coalition with the left-wing parties, despite VVD and CDA reluctance to work with both parties. Especially the plan to give people control over the end of their lives suggests this. The D66 has been championing a legislative proposal to allow euthanasia at the end of a complete life, while the ChristenUnie blocked that from happening in the current Rutte III coalition. The embryo law will also be a sticking point for the conservative Christian party. Kaag also recently reiterated that the D66 isn't enthusiastic about working with the ChristenUnie again.
Last week it was expected that informateur Hamer would recommend a potential coalition to start formation negotiations sometime this week. Now it seems that she's waiting on GroenLinks and PvdA member consultations happening on Saturday, regarding the parties' proposal to join the negotiations as a single bloc. The outcome of the PvdA consultation in particular will be exciting, as some members are still smarting from the major losses the PvdA suffered after the Rutte II VVD-PvdA coalition.