The government’s controversial plan to put up the cost of going to court by hundreds of euros appear to have been halted by the upper house of parliament, where the sole senator for the fundamentalist Christian SGP says he will vote no.
The government is one senator short of a majority in the 75-seat upper house. The SGP’s Gerrit Holdijk told television current affairs show Nieuwsuur on Tuesday evening he would not support the plan ‘as the legislation now stands’.
The government hopes to earn €240m a year from putting up court fees, but the plan is strongly opposed by the entire legal sector, who argue it will become too expensive for ordinary citizens to take legal action.
For example, the fee to go to court over cases involving student grants or social security will go up to €250 while other disputes between private individuals and the government will cost €400.
Individuals will only get the fee back if they win their case.
The legislation should have been debated in the lower house of parliament this week but has now been removed from the agenda. Ministers had hoped to bring the higher fees in on July 1.
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