The right wing Liberal VVD is focusing on tax cuts and integration in its manifesto for the March elections, which was published on Friday morning.
The party wants to cut the tax burden by €10bn, invest an extra €1bn in defence, improve pensions and require newcomers to take compulsory lessons to learn Dutch norms and values.
‘My aim is to ensure everyone experiences that there are improvements in the Netherlands,’ he told NOS radio in an interview.
The past four years have been about ensuring the country emerges from the crisis in a stronger position. The fundamentals have been established, Rutte said. ‘I now want to fight to take away people’s worries,’ he said.
Newcomers will have to continue to pay for their own integration lessons, and this will include compulsory classes in Dutch norms and values. There will be lessons on subjects such as ‘how homosexuality is considered in the Netherlands’, he said.
‘We have to stop making creeping concessions to other cultures,’ the prime minister said.
NOS political correspondent Joost Vullings said the aim of the campaign appears to be to keep the Christian Democrats down and take away support from the anti-Islam PVV.