Coalition accord: the main points

The coalition agreement drawn up by the right-wing VVD and Labour party (PvdA) sets out the new alliance’s strategy to 2017.


The main points, including those already leaked over the past few days, include:
Taxes and finance
• The highest tax band will be cut from 52% to 49%
• The third tax band will go down from 42% to 38%
• All workers to get an extra tax-free allowance of €500 a year by 2017
Housing market
• Mortgage tax relief will be reduced by 0.5% a year from 2014 for both new and current mortgages
• Social housing rents to rise: 1.5% plus inflation for those earning below €33,000, more for higher earners
• Housing corporations to focus again on social housing
Education
• Student grants will be replaced by loans and the fine for slow students will be scrapped.
• Free travel for students to be replaced by discount card
• Tougher standards for teachers, more practical teaching
• Free school books to be scrapped
Healthcare
• Healthcare benefit will be scrapped
• Health insurance premiums will become income-dependent
• Own-risk to become income-dependent from 2014
• €50 fee for ‘unnecessary visits’ to hospital A&E departments
• Pay freeze for health sector staff
Employment and social security
• Earnings-dependent unemployment benefit (WW) to be cut from 38 to 24 months
• Quotas to be introduced on employing the handicapped
• Golden handshakes to be restricted to €75,000
Finance sector
• Performance-related pay in financial sector to be capped at 20% of basic salary
• Bankers to swear an oath of integrity
• ABN Amro to be privatised when financial markets are stable
• Bank staff screening to be extended to all involved in major transactions
Equality
• Civil servants will no longer be able to refuse to marry gay couples
• Local councils will have the right to decide whether or not to allow Sunday shopping
Immigration and integration
• An amnesty for refugee children who lived in the Netherlands for more than five years
• Restrictions on workers from Bulgaria and Romania to be lifted in 2014
• Residency requirement to vote in local elections to be increased from five to seven years
• Immigrants to be excluded from welfare (bijstand) for first seven years of residency
• Residency requirement for nationalisation to increase from five to seven years
Public sector
• Organisations funded by public money to be banned from derivative trading
• Local government to be overhauled
• Noord Holland, Utrecht and Flevoland provincial government to be merged
Infrastructure
• Old-timers will no longer be exempt from road tax
• Regional airports to be developed
• Hedwige polder to be flooded
Other
• Plans to win the 2028 Olympics scrapped due to ‘lack of support in society’
• A ban on wild animals in circuses
• Holland Casino to be sold
• The legal drinking age for all alcohol to be increased to 18
• The cannabis card (wietpas) to be dropped, admission restrictions to remain
• Taxes to go up on alcoholic drinks and tobacco
• Prisoners to pay a contribution towards their upkeep
• Face-covering clothing banned in public buildings and on public transport
• €1bn will be cut from the development aid budget
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