Mixed reactions to new cabinet plans

Reactions to the new cabinet’s coalition agreement have been mixed. In general the trade unions have been fairly positive although FNV chairwoman Agnes Jongerius told ANP that it did contain a number of ‘vicious points’.

In particular, she is unhappy at the decision to limit civil servants’ redundancy pay to a maximum of one year’s salary and the €750m budget cut announced for the public sector. The CNV’s public sector union fiercely criticised the announcement saying this comes down to 15,000 civil servant jobs being axed.
The cabinet’s plan to introduce an eco-tax for air travel came in for criticism from the travel agents’ organisation ANVR which warned that the move will mean an extra €24 on plane tickets. The organisation claims the tax is nothing more than a ‘vulgar’ way to generate income.
Mark Rutte, leader of the main opposition Liberal (VVD) party says the new cabinet has come up with ‘extremely bad policy proposals’ in an initial reaction to the coalition agreement. He told ANP that the ‘irresponsible’amnesty for asylum seekers and budgetary measures were the best example of this.
Meanwhile Geert Wilders, leader of the anti-immigration PVV told ANP that the general amnesty for long term asylum seekers will ‘bring the country to the edge of the abyss’ and do nothing to ‘stop the Islamic invasion’.

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