Opposition launches attack on cabinet

Just two days after being appointed, the new cabinet has already found itself under fire, with right-wing opposition parties leading the way. Liberal (VVD) party leader Mark Rutte (pictured) accused the new centre-left government of coming up with plans which will lead to a sharper increase in taxes than pledged in the coalition accord.

Using figures drawn up by the government’s own CPB economic policy unit, Rutte said the package of measures proposed by the government will increase taxes to €3.25bn, more than double the coalition’s own calculation of €1.5bn.
Compensatory tax cuts planned by the new government are only for the poor, Rutte said. People on higher incomes and businesses would be ‘got at’.
The proposed rises in healthcare premiums, environmental taxes, an extra tax on new cars and an increase in the level of fines would hit everyone, Rutte said. But only those on low incomes would benefit from the increase in housing and healthcare subsidies. The difference between wages and social security benefits would also decrease, and that is bad for the economy, he said.
Geert Wilders’ anti-immigration party PVV was also on the attack, arguing that ministers should not be allowed to hold dual nationality. This was a pointed attack on two junior ministers from the PvdA (Labour) party. The PVV’s call was backed by outgoing integration minister Rita Verdonk.

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