Equalising income should be celebrated, says Labour chairman

Labour party supporters have no problem with the new coalition’s income policy, which includes income-related health insurance premiums and cutting the tax break on mortgages, PvdA chairman Hans Spekman says in Saturday’s AD.

‘Equalising income is to be celebrated,’ Spekman told the paper.
While the new coalition agreement will change a lot in peoples’ lives, reducing the difference in incomes between rich and poor is the most important aspect,’ he said. Labour supporters understand this because ‘we give to people whose lives are more difficult than our own’.
The health insurance plans have created a major row within VVD circles, with thousands of party members, including a number of senior figures, protesting about the effect on middle and high incomes.
Spekman said the Labour party is not planning to make any concessions. Health insurance premiums of €450 a month for a household in which both partners earn €70,000 is ‘very reasonable’, he told the paper. ‘Why should I have sympathy for those people?’


Meanwhile, VVD leader and prime minister Mark Rutte has admitted the issue of health insurance premiums was not properly communicated when the coalition agreement was published earlier this week.
‘I don’t think this week will go into the textbooks as an example of crisis communication,’ he told a party meeting in Lunteren on Friday. ‘I am responsible for this.’
Rutte also said the exact effect of the changes remains difficult to calculate but there are no indications the change may lead to a 30% cut in spending power for middle income groups as some people have claimed.
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