Parliament will on Tuesday debate the new cabinet’s strategy for the next four years after a tumultuous two weeks in which one major plank of the Liberal-Labour alliances plans has been scrapped.
Most opposition parties have already welcomed the decision to drop the health insurance plans although the Socialists, the anti-immigration PVV and 50Plus are still highly critical of the coalition.
D66 leader Alexander Pechtold said his party would continue to be ‘constructive when it can and critical when it has to be’, while ChristenUnie leader Arie Slob praised the coalition’s guts in dropping the health insurance plans.
But SP leader Emile Roemer said the Labour party had given away everything. ‘Nothing has been done to the major measures which will hit everyone,’ he said.
PVV leader Geert Wilders said the new measures will still lead to a cut in spending power of over 5% for some 15% of the population. And Henk Krol, leader of 50Plus, said pensioners with a small private pension will be hardest hit. It is a ‘scandal’, Krol said.
Instead of attempting to use health insurance as a way of reducing the income gap between rich and poor, the government is tinkering with the tax-free income base. This will go up for low earners and be reduced or phased out for those on higher incomes over a three-year period.