MPs want to know about ministers’ business interests

A majority of MPs want the government to give parliament details of ministers’ outside interests, against the wishes of prime minister Mark Rutte.

‘Transparency prevents any whisper of conflict of interest,’ D66 MP Gerard Schow is quoted as saying by the Financieele Dagblad.
At the moment, ministers usually set aside any outside business interests using arms-length constructions during their term in office.


Meanwhile, Hilversum mayor Ernst Bakker says in Wednesday’s Parool that the upper house of parliament, or senate, is fast becoming one ‘big lobby circuit’.
Bakker, who is ninth on D66’s list of candidates for the senate, points out that many senior politicians on the list already have full time jobs elsewhere.
D66’s campaign leader is Roger van Boxtel, who has a full time job as chairman of the country’s third biggest health insurance group Menzis. And number four on the D66 list is Nijmegen mayor Thom de Graaf.
‘Someone like Thom de Graaf, who is mayor and police chief of Nijmegen will soon have to vote on plans to bring in a national police force,’ Bakker says.
The CDA’s campaign leader Elco Brinkman is chairman of the construction industry lobby group Bouwend Nederland and Labour’s leader Marleen Barth chairs the national mental health board association.
Membership of the senate is considered to be a part-time job. The house only meets formally on Tuesdays and senators are paid around 25% of an MP’s wage.

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