Labour senator holds key to crucial cabinet housing agreement

A senator for the coalition party PvdA is under major pressure to toe the party line and vote in favour of housing sector reforms, or see them defeated in the upper house.

Adri Duivesteijn says he is very worried about elements in the agreement, which was worked out by the cabinet and three opposition parties.

In particular, he has doubts about the extra tax ministers want to impose on housing cooperations, which he says will stop them investing in new building projects.


Housing corporations have already warned the extra tax, which will cream off €1.8bn from their rental income, is crippling investment projects.

The five parties behind the agreement only have a majority of one in the upper house of parliament, so if Duivesteijn votes against, the plan will fail.

The aim of the extra tax is to generate funds for the treasury – a key part of the austerity package necessary to get the budget deficit below eurozone limits.

The vote will take place in the senate on Tuesday evening.

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