PVV defies government on state aid bonuses, MPs back motion

MPs on Tuesday passed a motion calling on the government to impose a retroactive 100% tax on bonuses paid to executives at banks and insurance companies which have had state aid.

The motion affects bonuses at ABN Amro, ASR, ING, SNS Reaal and Aegon – all of which had government money to tide them over the financial crisis. The motion covers all bonuses since 2008.
The motion was drawn up by the minority government’s alliance partner PVV. The two governing parties did not support the plan. Labour, the SP, pro-animal PvdD and GroenLinks joined the PVV to vote in favour.
Legal battle
Finance minister Jan Kees de Jager had recommended against the motion, saying it will lead to a long-running legal conflict with a negative outcome. It would also conflict with the constitution, he said.
Labour’s finance spokesman Ronald Plasterk said he also expected the motion to run into a legal minefield but voted in favour in an effort to get the government to take action on bonuses.
Earlier on Tuesday, it emerged ING directors have decided to forgo their bonus because of the public outcry.

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