The government’s apparent decision to scrap a €2,000 tax credit for people earning more than €56,000 a year has been criticised by VVD supporters and other politicians.
Various media report ministers have decided to scrap the credit, known as the algemene heffingskorting, and that the plan will be announced at the 2014 budget presentation on September 17.
The current coalition is a combination of the right-wing VVD liberals and the PvdA, or Labour party, and a decision to reduce the income difference between rich and poor is included in their coalition agreement.
‘So the VVD has agreed to steal €2,000 from me to pay for the Labour party’s income policies,’ said one VVD supporter on the party’s website. Others accuse the VVD of betraying its voters.
Labour’s chairman Hans Spekman controversially said last year that levelling incomes ‘should be celebrated’.
The move to stop the tax credit stems from an earlier decision to abandon plans to make health insurance premiums income dependent. That too led to a storm of protest from people who would have been faced with bills of up to €500 a month.
The Dutch top rate of income tax – 52% – currently starts on earnings over €55,000.
MPs from other parties have also criticised the plan. ‘The cabinet is increasingly opting to raise taxes on working people,’ said D66 parliamentarian Wouter Koolmees in the Financieele Dagblad. ‘This makes it less attractive to work and is not a sensible option at a time of crisis and rising unemployment.’
The CDA is also opposed. Pointing to the decision to reduce child benefits for older children, CDA parliamentarian Eddy van Hijum told the paper: ‘Working families are the victims in this.’
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