New Dutch Cabinet likely announced next week; Four-party deal imminent: sources
The longest Cabinet formation process in Dutch history was nearing an end with the fourth Cabinet of Mark Rutte expected to be presented within days. Sources told NOS and Telegraaf that the VVD, D66, CDA and ChristenUnie are expected to announce their new coalition agreement at the start of next week. It is not likely that the new ministers will be announced, but it is expected that women will make up 50 percent of those in leadership roles, reported the Telegraaf.
”No white smoke tonight,” one source told NOS on Thursday as the parties were continuing to negotiate final details of the plan. The four parties’ factions in parliament have already given the green light to move forward and present the current agreement, which contains their most significant agenda points. Changes could still be made before it goes public.
The broadcaster reported that the parties agreed to invest billions of euros to tackle climate issues, the approach to cutting nitrogen emissions and making advancements to resolve the housing shortage. There will be more of an effort to eliminate childcare fees for more people, according to NOS.
A more controversial issue is the possibility that the new Cabinet will a new road pricing scheme which will impact not only drivers who use combustion engine vehicles, but also those who drive electric vehicles, said NOS. All-electric vehicle owners are not subject to current road use taxes. Such schemes have long been opposed by Rutte’s VVD party.
The Telegraaf reported that the deal could be debated in Parliament on Wednesday, with MPs set to go on winter recess at the end of the week. Once the program is debated in the Tweede Kamer, Rutte is expected to be nominated as the formation leader who will assemble his ministers, NOS said.
The Rutte IV Cabinet could have 20 different ministers, four more than the current Cabinet, Telegraaf reported last week. This would be made up of eight from the VVD, six from D66, four from CDA and two from the ChristenUnie, NOS said. They could be joined by nine or ten state secretaries to assist them, Telegraaf reported last week.
CDA leader Wopke Hoekstra would probably shift out of his position as finance minister, with that role going to someone from D66. An additional minister could handle the portfolios of nitrogen and nature issues on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture. The Ministry of the Interior may get another minister for housing and planning. A Minister for Climate and Energy could take those topics from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, NOS reported.
One additional minister could also assist either the finance or the social affairs ministries, or both.