Government’s tax reforms run into trouble as opposition parties set out their demands

tax envelopeThe government is facing difficulty in winning crucial support for its tax reforms and opposition parties all have different demands in return for their backing, it emerged in Monday’s debate on the finance ministry’s plans.

Junior finance minister Eric Wiebes needs to get the backing of several opposition parties to ensure the measure passes in the upper house of parliament, where the VVD and Labour coalition controls just 21 out of 75 seats.

During the debate, Christian Democratic leader Sybrand Buma gave his tentative backing to the reforms, which are aimed at creating 35,000 jobs via a €5bn tax cut, news agency ANP reports.

The CDA and two minor Christian parties ChristenUnie and SGP would give Wiebes a majority in the senate.

However, Buma wants the government to ditch its plans to tax the assets of people with considerable savings more heavily and this is unlikely to be approved by the ruling Labour party.

An alternative would be an alliance with the Socialists, GroenLinks and the D66 Liberal democrats. The Socialists want further cuts in the basic income tax rate, which the ruling VVD does not support. GroenLinks and D66 want more tax measures to stimulate sustainability, which has neither Labour or VVD backing, ANP says.

The debate will continue in parliament next Monday.

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