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Labour voters don't back austerity deal, healthcare plans unpopular

Friday 18 May 2012

Now the details have leaked out, a majority of Labour party voters no longer support the austerity package finalised by the five-party coalition earlier this week, according to a poll for television programme EenVandaag.

When the provisional deal was announced at the end of last month, 65% of Labour voters said they were behind it. But backing for the measures, which include a hike in value-added tax and increase in healthcare costs, has now slumped to 39%, the poll shows.

Labour's new leader Diederick Samsom came in for considerable criticism for not signing up to the package three weeks ago.

Hospital fees

There is also mixed support for the package in the population at large. The rise in value-added tax from 19% to 21% has the support of 53%, while 63% back bringing forward the increase in the state pension age to 66.

But 70% oppose a €130 increase in the own risk element of healthcare and a similar percentage oppose the introduction of a €7.50 a day hospital fee.

According to recent opinion polls, the five parties which agreed the austerity package would not have a majority in parliament if there was a general election tomorrow. The actual vote takes place in September.

'This big package of cuts may make the parties more vulnerable during the campaign,' an Nos television commentator said.

Earlier stories
Austerity package leaked, spending power cut by 2%
Unions, opposition, health sector criticise austerity package

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

This is neat. I'm glad Labour took a stand on "the other side of the fence", so to speak. I won't be here to see it, but it should be an interesting election.

P.S. "...if there was a general election tomorrow." The correct way is: If there WERE a general election tomorrow.

By Stupid | 18 May 2012 8:41 AM

This is why these deals are made behind closed doors. Because the people elected to represent us, don't really want to hear what we think, until it's a 'done deal'. September will be interesting: what happens to this deal if these parties aren't elected to force it through?

By Donna | 18 May 2012 10:24 AM

Austerity is not what the NL needs or what the people want. NL should get ahead of the pack and stimulate the economy.

By Phil | 18 May 2012 12:11 PM

In reality, €130 increase in the own risk element might as well be considered a tax for almost everyone but the very healthy.

The introduction of a €7.50 a day hospital fee is really turning things into a co-pay system. I fear that the administration cost to implement this will outweigh any cost saving.

The only good thing is that maybe the Dutch will start demanding better information and choices from healthcare providers. The more I have to pay, the more I am going to demand having more control over decisions, looking into alternative options, etc. And I will want cost estimates and clear reporting of costs before doing anything.

By Quest | 18 May 2012 12:30 PM

I think when people actually begin to experience and feel the cuts in this package, the current coalition will lose its current support.

By Bill | 18 May 2012 3:17 PM

Healthcare is the biggest scam in this country.

By @CluthaDubh | 18 May 2012 4:16 PM

Why austerity? March 2012 Iceland's former prime minister Geir Haarde went on trial for failing to prevent his country's financial crash. Haarde is the only global political leader to face prosecution over the crisis which engulfed the world economy. Perhaps, we need to prosecute the bankers and the politicians who are responsible for this financial mess. Not penalise the ordinary man on the street, who is suffering financially because of recessionary measures now, and in the future? There should be no more bailouts at all, and an end to the inflexible EURO currency. This insanity needs to stop. Just for the record, Iceland's basic economic indicators are now stronger than countries that received bail-outs?

By Highlander | 18 May 2012 4:29 PM

A co-pay system paves the road to (further) privatization. An important question to be asked is whether or not Dutch people consider health a human right or a private industry.

By JG | 18 May 2012 4:36 PM

Quest, the ex-Government (Dictatorship) has been trying to limit our choice of hospital, and hence medical professional/s, we can choose to go to when we need.

By Gerard | 18 May 2012 5:12 PM

Europe is witnessing a swing to the left in all countries who have held elections.

The right has failed to reverse our economic fortunes; Rutte chooses to tax the sick and vulnerable instead of the bankers (currently suing state owned banks for high pension payouts) and the multinationals who can afford it without worrying about paying both the rent for the hospital bed and the rent/mortgage on their home. The average Hans will see his travel to work costs disappear at the next change in job contract (I wonder how many HR departments are rubbing their hands the prospect of a corporate restructure)

Some leaders may not be victims of their own ineptitude during these changing times. Rutte, however, is.

By osita | 18 May 2012 9:25 PM

If for any reason I have to go to hospital for an operation & remain there for an overnight stay, will they let me off the €7.50 extra charge if I bring my own sandwiches, a thermos & bed linen?


By The visitor | 19 May 2012 1:46 AM

Bill - the current coalition doesn't exist anymore and the Prime Minister has probably lost everyone's confidence.

By poeliewoepsie | 19 May 2012 2:20 AM

I am very glad there will be a general election in September. I would like to see more referendums on the kind of decisions that are being taken right now. For example, name 3-5 savings packages and let the general public vote. The package with the majority of votes is the one that is opted for and presented to Brussels. Wouldn't have taken 10 weeks to decide upon and wouldn't have caused the fall of the government. But I suppose that's what happens when politicians are working for themselves and fighting against each other instead of focussing on what it is their voters want.

By Maria | 21 May 2012 10:16 AM

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