Coalition accord: what politicians and lobby groups say

Many commentators are concerned that families will have to pick up much of the bill for the €16bn package of savings the new right-left coalition government plans to introduce.

Among the measures affecting families are an end to free school books, reductions in child benefit and less government cash for students.
Arie Slob, fractieleider van de ChristenUnie:
‘Bridges are not being built between everyone. If you have a family and growing children you are going to get a hefty bill. I can see this hitting [some people] very
PVV leader Geert Wilders:
‘These are not the measures the Netherlands is waiting for. These are destructive and mistaken choices that will have the wrong effect. The measures are bad for the economy, employment and the ordinary Dutchman.’
D66 leader Alexander Pechtold:
‘We have to make sure it is financially worth working. The costs of this agreement are weighing heavily on the shoulders of workers and companies. That means the new coalition is discouraging work, which will damage the economic recovery… not investing more in education is a missed opportunity.’
Sybrand Buma, CDA leader:
‘This is a disappointing result. I am really shocked that unemployment is going to rise. Families with children will bear the brunt… I am afraid middle-income families with children will pick up the bill.’

Thijs van Reekum, chairman of student lobby group ISO:

‘Scrapping student grants, changing the travel card and scrapping health insurance benefits will cost students some €5,000 a year.’

Farah Karimi, director of Oxfam Novib:

‘It is shocking, much worse than expected… Two international agreements are being broken. We will be under the 0.7% of GDP limit for development aid and there is no extra money for climate policies in developing countries.’

Jaap Smit, chairman of CNV trade union federation:

‘It appears to be a very tough agreement. The cabinet is going to make cuts and everyone will be affected. We knew that was the case. There is no point in being against every measure. The key issue for the CNV is the pain being shared equally.’
Elco Brinkman, chairman of construction sector lobby group Bouwend Nederland:
‘The construction and infrastructure industry are getting the attention they deserve… In terms of housing, this is the best news in years if we look at the clear approach to mortgage tax relief and making rents more equitable.’
Are you worried about the impact of the measures on your family? Have your say using the comment form below.

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation