MPs who leave their party and form splinter groups, rather than giving up their seats, should no longer be eligible for state funding, according to a parliamentary committee.
Currently splinter groups such as Denk and VDL are entitled to funding for support staff totalling €165,000 a year. This money is cut from the budget of their original parties. The splinter party leader is also entitled to an extra payment of a couple of thousand euros a year.
The working party, under the leadership of Roelof Bisschop from the fundamentalist Christian SGP, says that splinter groups should no longer have the status of an official political party. This would limit their funding and speaking time during debates.
However, because MPs are elected on a personal mandate, they should not face impediments to doing their job as representatives of the people, the working party’s report states.
At the 2012 general election, there were 11 parties in parliament but there are now 16 after MPs left or were expelled from the party they were elected for.
The aim is to have the new rules in place ahead of next March’s general election.
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