MPs back call to cancel new fighter jet, next cabinet will decide
Friday 06 July 2012
As expected, a majority of MPs have backed calls for the Netherlands to pull out of the joint strike fighter jet project, 10 years after the order was originally placed.
Left wing parties, the anti-Islam PVV and animal rights party PvdD backed a joint Labour and Socialist motion calling for Dutch investment in the JSF to be halted.
Defence minister Hans Hillen said after the vote he was not in a position to stop Dutch investment in the JSF because of the pending election. Instead, it will be up to the next government to decide whether or not to proceed, he said.
When the project was first put forward in 2002, the cost was put at €4.5bn and the first plane was due to be operational in 2014. The price of the 85 aircraft has now risen to over €64m each, with an initial delivery date of 2019.
Industrial giant Stork and other Dutch firms have warned of the knock-on effect of pulling out of the project, which is expected to generate billions of euros in orders for Dutch firms. The contracts are conditional on the Netherlands buying the finished planes.