Housing minister tries to find more support for housing reforms

Housing minister Stef Block failed to get agreement on Monday evening on government plans to reform the housing market, following the refusal of the Christian Democrats to back the plans.

Blok held talks all evening with the Liberal party D66, the ChristenUnie and the Christian fundamentalist SGP to try and secure a majority in the upper house or senate. The coalition government of VVD and Labour does not have a majority in the senate and Blok needs to win other party support to get his plans approved.

Last week, talks were held with the Christian Democrats in an effort to get them on board. During those talks, the CDA said extra taxes on housing corporations, which the coalition plans to raise to €2bn by 2017, should not exceed €800m. The CDA also wants a softening of plans to reduce mortgage tax relief.


Late on Monday afternoon, CDA leader Sybrand Haersma Buma told a press conference the differences between his party and the government were ‘unbridgeable’.

This led to the round of talks between Blok and three other opposition parties in an effort to secure a senate majority.

No agreement has yet been reached, with D66 leader Alexander Pechtold commenting on Twitter that this was ‘an exploratory talk to see where the bottlenecks lie’. ChristenUnie leader Arie Slob also took to Twitter to say ‘there are still a lot of obstacles’.


The talks will continue on Tuesday.

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