Crucial government plans face problems in senate: NRC report

A number of plans central to the new government’s economic strategy will not be approved by the upper house of parliament, the NRC reports on Tuesday.

The paper says a lack of support among opposition parties will make it impossible for the government to get some policies onto the statute books without major concessions.
The paper has looked at 30 key pieces of legislation and their likely support. The Liberal-Labour coalition is eight seats short of a majority in the upper house and will rely on the backing of the main opposition parties – the CDA, Geert Wilders’ anti-immigration PVV and the Socialists – to pass a number of laws.
In particular, plans to allow landlords to increase rents for well-off tenants above the rate of inflation are very unlikely to succeed, the paper says. Nor is there enough support for plans to scrap student grants and the student travel card and to merge Noord-Holland with Utrecht and Flevoland provinces.
Other policies may also be in trouble. These include a reduction in jobless benefit, cuts in spending on roads and the infrastructure, a transaction tax for banks, reducing child benefits and making being an illegal immigrant a crime.
However, other controversial plans, such as a ban on wild animals in circuses, cuts in spending on public broadcasting and development aid, and limits to redundancy packages are likely to be approved, the paper says.
It is the first time since 1918 that a cabinet has been so short of a majority in the upper house of parliament, the NRC says.

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