Kasja Ollongren is temporarily stepping down as Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations and Deputy Prime Minister for health reasons. Complications arose after surgery on her sinuses. Raymond Knops, State Secretary of the Home Affairs Ministry, will take over as Minister until at least the Christmas holidays.
Ruling party VVD and opposition party 50Plus want to change the constitution so that it is possible for municipalities to hold elections if their city council falls apart. Parliamentarians Jan Middendorp (VVD) and Henk Krol (50Plus) submitted an amendment proposal to this effect, AD reports.
Whistleblower Paul van Buitenen is pressing charges of "undermining the rule of law" in the handling of the Enschede fireworks disaster in 2000 against the Dutch government, the municipality of Enschede, a number of Ministries, the Public Prosecutor, the police and others. The government and other parties involved are not only guilty of the disaster itself, but afterwards also covering up their own failures resulting in the wrong people being punished, Van Buitenen said to Tubantia.
The premium for the National Mortgage Guarantee (NHG) is decreasing from 0.9 percent to 0.7 percent of the total home-loan beginning next year, resulting in savings of up to 620 euros for eligible buyers. The maximum price for homes eligible for the NHG is also increasing, from 290 thousand euros this year to 310 thousand euros next year, Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs announced in a letter to parliament.
State Secretary Raymond Knops of Home Affairs is very doubtful that the large-scale renovation of the Binnenhof in The Hague can start as planned next year, he said in a letter to parliament. He is considering postponing the major redo of the political heart of the Netherlands by one year, starting in the summer of 2021, NOS reports.
Since the Partial Ban on Face-Covering Clothing was implemented on August 1st, banning clothing items like burkas and balaclavas in public transport, hospitals, education- and government buildings, no violators have been fined, RTL Nieuws reports after speaking to institutions where the ban applies. A number of organizations raised concerns about increased aggression and hostility against women who wear burkas and niqabs.
There are massive differences in the costs involved in getting a building permit for new homes from Dutch municipalities, according to homeowners' association VEH. The association wants Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs to put an end to the large differences in municipal building fees, Omroep West reports.
The Dutch government will announce multiple measures aimed at tackling the housing shortage on Budget Day. A fund of 1 billion euros in subsidies will be created for municipalities starting new building projects, and housing corporations who build new homes will receive up to a billion euros in tax discounts. First-time homeowners may also be exempt from transfer tax, the Volkskrant reports based on sources.
Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs must reconsider her decision not to give a journalist access to tapped conversations around the murder of Theo van Gogh and the Hofstad group, the group to which Van Gogh's murderer Mohammed B. belonged, the Council of State ruled on Wednesday. According to the court, the Minister's explanation for why these conversations can not be released was not sufficiently substantiated.
In the second quarter of this year, 12.8 thousand permits were issued to build new homes - the lowest number in three years and 14 percent less than in the second quarter of 2018, Statistics Netherlands reported on Thursday. The permitted building sum for the new construction and renovations of homes was also nearly 15 percent less than the second quarter of last year.
The police want to offer an alternative for burka or niqab wearers who want to come to a police station to make a report after the ban on face-covering clothing takes effect on August 1st. A police directive states that people who do not want to take off their veil "for religious reasons" can go to a separate area, a so-called reporting area, to make their report. This alternative is against the law, the Ministry of Home Affairs said to NRC.
Left-wing opposition parties GroenLinks and PvdA are demanding some changes to the Climate Agreement before they will support it in the Senate. "If you think that we are applauding, then you are wrong", PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher said during the first parliamentary debate on the Agreement on Wednesday, NOS reports. "If there are no concrete solutions, you can forget our support."
Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs wants to improve the gender balance in politics by actively focusing on recruiting and interviewing female candidates for the positions of mayor, Minister and King’s Commissioner. Her goal is to have between 40 percent and 60 percent of political positions filled by women in the future, she said in a letter to parliament.
Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations plans to make changes to the ways the Netherlands elects members of both the Eerste Kamer and Tweede Kamer. She wants to introduce a new electoral system in which preference votes on candidates are given more weight, NRC and Volkskrant report based on sources around the government.
The executive committee of the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, asked former D66 leader Alexander Pechtold to lead the renovation of the Binnenhof in The Hague, State Secretary Raymond Knops of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations said in a letter on Wednesday evening. Pechtold was chosen to be "process chairman" due to his "knowledge and expertise", Knops said, NOS reports.
Facebook is not keeping to promises it made to the Tweede Kamer last week about political transparency on the social media platform, according to privacy and civil rights movement Bits of Freedom who put the social media giant's promises to the test, Nieuwsuur reports.
The Dutch data protection authority AP is investigating possible ethnic profiling by the Tax Authority. There are indications that the Tax Authority used information about people's second nationality to determine whose childcare allowance was halted, RTL Nieuws and Trouw report.
People with disabilities in the Netherlands still experience difficulties when going to cast their votes. After the Provincial States elections the voting hotline of the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights received 188 reports about the accessibility of polling stations, compared to 148 reports after the municipal elections in 2018, NOS reports.
The Netherlands will implement its burka ban, officially called the Partial Ban On Face Covering Clothing Act, on August 1st. From that day on no face covering clothing may be worn in education, in government buildings, in healthcare and on public transit, AD reports.
Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs wants to prevent social housing from ending up with people who are not entitled to them. She is therefore sharply increasing the fine for illegal subletting, from over 20 thousand euros to 83 thousand euros, RTL Nieuws reports.
The Minister is amending the Housing Act to make the higher fines possible. Soon municipalities will be able to immediately impose a 20 thousand euro fine for a first offense. The fine can increase to 83 thousand euros for people repeatedly caught illegally subletting a social rental home.
The police had to remove a man from the public gallery in the Tweede Kamer on Wednesday afternoon for disrupting the parliamentary debate. The man tried to start a discussion with State Secretary Raymond Knops of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations by screaming at him from the gallery. The elderly man seemed to be confused and could barely stand on his feet, AD reports.
The Dutch voting software OSV will also be used in the Provincial States election on March 20th. Over the past years, multiple vulnerabilities have been found in the software.
Facebook will not be able to guarantee that the company is transparent about the placement of political advertisements before the provincial states elections next month, Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations wrote in a letter to parliament, NOS reports.
Over 24 million euros in non-active allowance payments were made to 229 former Dutch politicians over the past six years, the Telegraaf reports based on figures from the Ministry of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations.
Non-active allowance is an allowance paid to former politicians while they're waiting for a new job or their pension benefits to start. Between September 2012 and the end of 2018 a total of 186 former parliamentarians, 18 former Ministers, and 15 former State Secretaries made use of this allowance, according to the newspaper.