Prime minister is convinced he can get support for 2014 plans

Prime minister Mark Rutte is convinced he can get other parties in parliament to support the cabinet’s plans outlined on Tuesday and make sure they become law.

The cabinet does not have a majority in the upper house of parliament, so ministers will have to look to other parties for backing for their more controversial plans.

Rutte told television show Pauw & Witteman on Tuesday evening the VVD-Labour coalition would be able to find partners, pointing out that three other parties supported the housing agreement earlier this year. ‘They took their responsibilities seriously,’ Rutte said.

Rutte declined to comment on specific points made by the opposition leaders. ‘No, I won’t give a reaction. These times require a prime minister who is cautious, otherwise I will not help my discussions with the opposition,’ he said.

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Nee, ik geef niet alvast een eerste reactie. Deze tijd vraagt om een premier die terughoudendheid betracht. Anders bevorder ik niet mijn kansen om met de oppositie te overleggen.’

Concessions

Both the Liberal democrats D66 and the Christian Democrats said after the budget presentation they would support the government on some issues but only if it made concessions to them.

Earlier in the evening, both the VVD and Labour leaders in the lower house of parliament said they were open to potential trading with other parties.

Meanwhile, the government’s most important advisory body, the Council of State, says it has its doubts about the new government plans. In particular, the council says the reforms of healthcare and social security may not go far enough.


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