Rutte IV scrapped Covid measures, focused on Ukraine invasion in first 100 days
The fourth Cabinet of VVD Prime Minister Mark Rutte will rule for exactly 100 days on Wednesday. In addition to the plans in the coalition agreement, the Cabinet focused on phasing out most of the coronavirus measures and the war in Ukraine.
Due to the Russian invasion of the Eastern European country, the favorable economic situation has become more uncertain, and serious problems loom due to rising (energy) prices. The Cabinet is also facing a billion-euro setback as a result of unjustly collected savings tax. The coalition parties are currently looking for ways to absorb the setbacks and protect purchasing power.
The Cabinet - again consisting of VVD, D66, CDA, and ChristenUnie - took office on January 10, over a year after the third Rutte Cabinet collapsed due to the childcare allowance scandal. The new Cabinet had to overcome a profound crisis of confidence in the Binnehof, also sparked by behind-the-scenes discussions about then CDA parliamentarian Pieter Omtzigt. He has since separated from the CDA.
Voters' confidence was also low, partly due to the Tax Authority wrongly accusing thousands of people of benefits fraud and leaving them with financial problems. Rutte said he would work hard to restore the low confidence. He promised "new impetus," but it is not exactly clear what this would look like.
In the meantime, the Cabinet already almost lost a Minister - Hugo de Jonge faced a no-confidence vote because he was not honest about his involvement in a dodgy facemask deal between the Ministry of Health and Sywert van Lienden. The former CDA member earned many millions in public money by arranging face masks for the government, while he said beforehand that he was not doing it for profit. The vote of no confidence did not get majority support.
Reporting by ANP