Friday night’s televised debate between Labour (PvdA) leader Wouter Bos and current prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende was narrowly won by Bos, according to a poll of viewers. Some 50% of those polled said Bos had been the more impressive candidate, 46% opted for Balkenende.
The debate was watched by 1.7 million people. Balkenende used the debate to attack Labour’s plan to make wealthy pensioners continue to pay state pension premiums. This would do do nothing to solve the problem of the ageing population, he said.
Bos, in turn, criticised the Christian Democrats plans to cut spending on healthcare and housing benefit for people on low incomes. ‘That will hurt pensioners far more than the couple of extra euros we want the richest pensioners to pay,’ he said.
Bos reiterated that if he did not become prime minister after the November 22 vote, he would stay in parliament as an MP.
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