The leaders of the three partners forming the new government (Christian Democrats, Labour and ChristenUnie) spent Tuesday discussing their parties’ reactions to the draft coalition agreement. The formal publication of the new cabinet’s plans and strategy is expected late on Tuesday.
Although much of the draft agreement has been leaked over the past days it emerged late on Monday that the new cabinet intends to allocate €1.3bn to boost spending power over the coming four years. Part of this money will be used to increase child benefit, rent and healthcare subsidies.
In total the new government will reduce taxes and premiums by €3 bn and invest €7 bn on education, the environment and healthcare.
But the draft coalition agreement also contains cuts and new taxes. There will be an eco-tax on air travel (generating €350m) and the tax on new cars will be related to how environmentally friendly vehicles are (delivering the treasury an extra €200m). Taxes on tobacco and alcohol will be increased by €200m.
Other previously unconfirmed policies included:
* The introduction of further competition in the healthcare sector
* Extra money for public broadcasters
* A three month social work internship for schoolchildren
* Scrapping social security (bijstand) for young people under 27
* A target to reduce crime by 25%
Although all three coalition parties generally approved the cabinet’s policy proposals, a number of adjustments were called for. According to ANP, both CDA and Labour MPs had problems with the pension compromise agreed by the new cabinet under which wealthy pensioners who retire early will have to continue to pay a state pension pension premium.
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