Healthcare pay raise could be funded by hiking corporate tax rate: Parliamentarians
A majority in the Tweede Kamer again demanded that 600 million euros be set aside to increase the salaries of healthcare workers. This time, they also came up with a plan to fund the salary increase - by raising corporate tax, NOS reports.
Parliamentarians have been calling on the cabinet to increase healthcare workers' salaries for months. The workload in the sector was already high and increased significantly in the coronavirus pandemic. Care workers received a bonus in the pandemic, but not a structural increase to their salaries.
Opposition party SP teamed up with coalition party ChristenUnie for this latest motion, including a plan for funding, which received majority support in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament.
"Recently 80 billion euros in government support went to large companies and that helped to keep the companies afloat and save many jobs," ChristenUnie parliamentarian Mirjam Bikker said. "Now we have to look the other way."
"Last year we applauded en masse for the healthcare workers who led the way in combating the coronavirus. But there is still not enough room for wages in healthcare," SP leader Lilian Marijnissen said. "While the workload in healthcare is increasing."
During the debate, both Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said that they have no plans to increase salaries in healthcare. According to Rutte, the sector's salaries were increased several times in the past years and a caretaker cabinet cannot make such decisions anyway.