Main points of the coalition agreement

The 53-page long coalition accord which was formally published on Wednesday covers a broad sweep of new government policies, setting targets in a number of key areas and introducing several new ministries. All points in the agreement which require legislative changes still have to go through the parliamentary process, meaning that many will not be implemented within the next four years.
The main points of the agreement are:

• Budget surplus to reach 1% by 2011
• Economic growth forecast set at 2%
• Cuts in civil service jobs to save €750m
• €7bn investment in education, environment, healthcare including €1.3bn to boost spending power by increasing child benefit, housing and health insurance subsidies
• Tax cuts to total €3bn
Foreign affairs and immigration
• General amnesty for long-term asylum seekers
• No inquiry into Dutch support for the war in Iraq
• An alternative EU constitution must strengthen the role of member states and national parliaments, decision on referendum to be left to the Senate
• Special immigration procedures for ‘IT migrants’ to be looked at and fees reduced if necessary
• Language tests for all three-year-olds.
• No change to mortgage tax relief
• Social housing rent to rise no more than inflation
• €400m to renovate run-down areas
• New post created: minister for integration and urban renewal
• Building of new homes to rise to between 80,000 and 100,000 a year.
• No changes to redundancy law in private sector
• Prime minister’s salary to serve as maximum for public sector pay
• €700m to help people on invalidity benefit (WAO) back to work
• Return of subsidised jobs for long-term unemployed
• Covenant with social partners within 100 days to create 100,000 jobs
• Wealthy early retirees to contributed to state pension premiums
• Bonus for people who stay in work to 65
• Target of 25% reduction in corporate red tape within four years
• Tax break for start-ups in deprived areas
• €750m for pre-school child care, créches will not be free
• Parental leave to be extended from 13 weeks in total to 26 weeks
• Tax break for non-working partners to be phased out over 20 years
• New post created: minister for youth and family affairs
• The government will draw up a new emancipation white paper
• Employers, particulary in education, will be encouraged to put more women in top jobs
• Measures to combat violence against homosexuals under the motto ‘respect the difference’
• €800m for the environment
• Eco-tax on air travel (generating €350m)
• Environment minister will also have control over energy policy
• New car tax to penalise environmentally unfriendly vehicles (generating €200m)
• Kilometre tax for motorists to be introduced in stages before 2011
• €200m extra for development projects focusing on climate
• Experiments with free public transport for certain groups
• 30% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2020
• Renewable energy to account for 20% of production by 2020
• €1bn extra for education
• Extra cash for schools with disadvantaged pupils
• A three month community service internship for all schoolchildren
• School books to be free from the next academic year
• More cash for research in pure sciences
• Four year target of 50% cut in school drop-out rate
• New spending to total €500m
• More controlled competition in healthcare
• Dental check ups and birth control pill back in basic health insurance package
• Euthansia and abortion laws unchanged, but with more focus on prevention
• No-claim rule on health insurance to be replaced by €150 own-risk for all except chronically sick
• Cafés, restaurants and bars to be smoke free by 2011
• TV advertising for alcohol banned before 9pm
• Taxes on tobacco and alcohol increased to raise €200m
• No privatisation of Schiphol airport
• Extra money for public broadcasters
• Decision on whether to buy the Joint Strike Fighter jet aircraft will be made in 2010
• 0.82% of GDP to be spent on development aid
• Tougher sentences for animal abuse
• A bill on animal welfare to be introduced before the end of this year
• An end to the growth in Sunday shopping
• Tougher action against the clients of illegal and under-aged prostitutes
This list has been compiled from a number of sources

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