Left-wing parties will support budget if Cabinet changes attitude on climate, inequality
GroenLinks and PvdA will only support the government's budget if the Cabinet makes fundamentally different choices in its approach to the climate crisis and income inequality, NOS reports.
The two left-wing parties' demands include raising the minimum wage to at least 14 euros per hour and making rents more affordable. GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver spoke of a "wild west" situation in the Netherlands, where landlords "can aks what they want." That needs to change, both he and PvdA leader Attje Kuiken stressed.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Finance Minister Sigrid Kaag are meeting with the leaders of the parliamentary factions this week to seek support for the Spring Memorandum, which contains changes to the annual budget. They need to fill a shortage of billions of euros caused by the war in Ukraine, inflation, and billions in compensation for the savings tax.
It seems the coalition intends to tax companies and wealthy people more heavily by increasing the transfer tax on a second home and the tax for major shareholders in Box 2. The Cabinet may also scrap a tax break for expats.
But the left-wing parties don't think these plans go far enough. "We don't agree with small changes," said Klaver. Kuiken: "It can and must be much more social."
The coalition needs the support of opposition parties because it does not have a majority in the Eerste Kamer, the Dutch Senate. The Cabinet is meeting with all opposition parties but is likely most interested in the left-wing block in terms of numbers. GroenLinks and PvdA have a joint 14 seats in the Senate. JA21 is another option. The party isn't technically in the Senate but is in practice through the Nanninga faction, which has seven seats.
JA21's demands for support include restoring the full link between the state pension and minimum wage, scrapping plans for a nitrogen fund, and continuing gas extraction in earthquake-wracked Groningen.