VVD, CDA drafted coalition agreement left behind on train
A draft coalition agreement written by the VVD and CDA in September was recently left behind on a train, the Volkskrant reports after a reader found the document and alerted the newspaper. In the agreement, the two parties planned substantial measures to combat the housing shortage, a more ambitious climate policy, a multi-billion euro fund to buy out farmers, and free childcare for "most people."
The VVD and CDA want to intervene significantly in the housing market and create more affordable homes. They want to lower the landlord levy, possibly to zero, so housing associations have more money to build houses. They also want to encourage housing associations to enable tenants to buy their rental properties.
Strikingly, the two parties also plan to achieve more against climate change than the EU demands from the Netherlands. The two parties are usually not at the forefront of climate policy. In addition to a bigger reduction in CO2 emissions, they also want to actively pursue a "green industrial policy" by making binding agreements with the 20 biggest polluters. They also plan a fund of at least 14 billion euros to help solve the nitrogen issue. That money will primarily go towards buying out farmers and restoring nature.
The VVD and CDA also plan to invest heavily in education and the labor market, with the aim of reducing inequality. This includes basic insurance against occupational disability for self-employed, increasing minimum wage, and making childcare free for many people. The parties also plan to admit more vulnerable refugees to the Netherlands.
The document is dated September 26. At that time, informateur Johan Remkes investigated a minority coalition with VVD, CDA, and D66. Shortly after that, the D66 agreed to negotiate with ChristenUnie again, leading to the current formation talks. The CDA and VVD told the Volkskrant that they drafted the agreement at the request of Remkes. A spokesperson for Remkes said they did so at their own initiative.
The document is relevant in the current formation talks, insiders told the newspaper. It was used as recently as Monday when the negotiations touched on education and migration. A similar document drafted earlier by the VVD and D66 at the request of the informateur, combined with this draft, forms an important foundation for the next coalition agreement. They are very similar in content, and only ChristenUnie leader Gert-Jan Segers' wishes needs to be added, according to the newspaper.