Now the details have leaked out, a majority of Labour party voters no longer support the austerity package finalised by the five-party coalition earlier this week, according to a poll for television programme EenVandaag.
When the provisional deal was announced at the end of last month, 65% of Labour voters said they were behind it. But backing for the measures, which include a hike in value-added tax and increase in healthcare costs, has now slumped to 39%, the poll shows.
Labour’s new leader Diederick Samsom came in for considerable criticism for not signing up to the package three weeks ago.
There is also mixed support for the package in the population at large. The rise in value-added tax from 19% to 21% has the support of 53%, while 63% back bringing forward the increase in the state pension age to 66.
But 70% oppose a €130 increase in the own risk element of healthcare and a similar percentage oppose the introduction of a €7.50 a day hospital fee.
According to recent opinion polls, the five parties which agreed the austerity package would not have a majority in parliament if there was a general election tomorrow. The actual vote takes place in September.
‘This big package of cuts may make the parties more vulnerable during the campaign,’ an Nos television commentator said.
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