Prime minister Mark Rutte admitted on Friday it will be complicated to form a coalition between the right-wing Liberals and the social democratic PvdA. A look at the main differences:
The PvdA wants to reverse the introduction of market forces and competition into heathcare and does not belief healthcare institutions should be driven by profit motives. It also says health insurance premiums should be income-related.
The VVD wants to increase the use of market mechanisms in healthcare, to allow hospitals to take on private investors and to increase competition between providers.
Mortgage tax relief
The VVD does not want to make any changes to tax deductions for current mortgages but agreed in the spring austerity talks the tax break on new mortgages should be limited to repayment schemes. Rutte said during the campaign that current mortgages are safe with him.
The PvdA wants to reduce the tax break on all mortgages gradually from the current maximum 52% to a maximum 30%.
State pension age
Both parties agree on the necessity to put up the state pension age from 65 to 67. The VVD wants to complete this by around 2020, the PvdA by 2025.
Eurozone budget deficit rules
The VVD wants to meet the 3% maximum budget deficit in 2013, the PvdA does not agree with meeting this target whatever the cost.
The spring austerity agreement included plans to make it easier for employers to sack staff and to cut golden handshakes. The PvdA, and the unions, are strongly opposed to the plans.
The PvdA wants to reverse the planned October increase in value added tax (btw) from 19% to 21%. The VVD is against this.
The PvdA wants to increase the top rate of income tax to 60%. The VVD is opposed.
The VVD election manifesto called for major cuts in development aid. The PvdA wants to stick to the international agreement of 0.7% of GDP and says lowering this is unacceptable.
The VVD has consistently opposed an amnesty for young asylum seekers who have lived in the Netherlands for so long they have become rooted in the country. The PvdA backs a one-off legalisation process.
Points where the two parties agree
Will they manage to form a coalition? Share your thoughts in the comments box below