Senate threat forces government to amend theatre ticket tax

The senate voted in favour of the government’s new tax plans on Tuesday after ministers agreed to delay the tax increase on theatre tickets until July.

The delay was enough to persuade senators from the ruling VVD and CDA not to vote down the plan.
They had demanded prime minister Mark Rutte return from his winter break to discuss the impasse, but junior finance minister Frans Weekers was able to head off the revolt with the last minute compromise.
The deal means value added tax will go up on theatre tickets from 6% to 19% in July, the start of the new season.
Cinema, circuses and sports events still fall under the 6% tax rate.


The senate also forced social affairs minister Henk Kamp to rethink his plans to cut pensioners’ partner benefits by 8%.
At the moment pensioners with a younger partner can claim their own state pension plus up to the same amount for their partner – if their partner does not have a job or only works a few hours a week. Some 280,000 people currently do so.
Kamp told senators he would look at making couples with combined income of less than €30,000 exempt.
Trouw says the two rebellions show that the senate is determined to make its presence felt.
The government does not have majority support in the senate because the anti-Islam PVV is not represented.
That will probably change after the provincial elections in March. The results of the provincial vote determine the make-up of the 75-seat senate.

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