The chairwoman of the upper house of parliament says cabinet threats to force through changes to health insurance using emergency powers ‘conflict with the constitution’.
Ankie Broekers-Knol told radio programme De Ochtend on Wednesday the plan to ignore the senate if it rejects the changes for a second time is ‘worrying’.
Health minister Edith Schippers’ plans were rejected in the upper house after three Labour senators broke ranks and voted against government policy shortly before the Christmas break.
After three days of talks, ministers decided to resubmit the legislation with a few changes and said if it is rejected again, they would use emergency powers known as an AMvB to ensure it becomes law. The draft law removes freedom of choice in healthcare for people with budget policies.
Broekers-Knol told the radio programme an AMvB is not meant to be used to ‘change the core of a law’. By using one, ministers are ‘skirting round the parliamentary system of law-making’, she said.
The senate leader also said she is not pleased with the decision by Schippers and housing minister Stef Blok not to implement legislation limiting executive pay in the public sector from January 1. The ministers said they did not have enough time to put the new law into practice.
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