A large majority of the Dutch think prince Willem-Alexander should earn less than his mother when he becomes king at the end of this month, according to a survey by RTL news.
The survey shows seven out of 10 think the new king should earn less than €850,000 a year – with most opting for the €250,000 to €500,000 pay bracket. But 17% think Willem-Alexander should earn less than €100,000 a year for carrying out his royal duties.
The survey follows a campaign by the Dutch republican society to force a parliamentary debate on the new king’s pay and the fact he does not pay tax. In the RTL survey, 83% said it is wrong the royal family do not pay tax on their earnings from the state.
On Monday, MPs from the ruling VVD and Labour party, together with D66, said they supported taxing the new king’s income. However, they said, his basic salary should be increased accordingly, so that his net income would not change.
Tax minister Frans Weekers told television talk show Pauw & Witteman that he expected a parliamentary motion on the tax status of the royal family but pointed out any change will require a change to the constitution.
Weekers also said reports queen Beatrix’ sister Margriet and her husband Pieter van Vollenhoven have set up a foundation to reduce the tax their children will have to pay on their inheritance is ‘a private matter’.
While action is being taken to combat tax evasion, people are free to use legal measures to reduce their taxes, Weekers said. ‘That applies to everyone,’ the minister said, adding that he did not want to see ‘class justice or reverse class justice’.