New PvdA leader calls for higher income tax, tough stand on labour migration

Lodewijk Asscher is one of the front runners. Photo:

New Labour party leader Lodewijk Asscher has written to members outlining his plans to take the party to the left by increasing income tax for high earners, the Volkskrant said on Wednesday.

Asscher, who is currently social affairs minister in the PvdA VVD cabinet, says the party must stand for ‘progressive patriotism’ and has already won the support of the party leadership for his ‘sharpened up’ approach, the paper said.

The PvdA holds its annual congress in January to finalise the party’s manifesto for the March 15 general election.

Asscher wants to increase income tax for people earning over €150,000 a year to 60%. The money would be used to invest in improving care homes and high earners could be proud of their contribution to improving facilities for the frail elderly, the minister said in the letter.

He is also calling for corporation tax to be increased by two percentage points even though finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, also a PvdA member, has said it could be cut.

In addition, Asscher wants the party to take a much tougher line on labour migration, which should be stopped if it ‘is nothing more than competition on wages’. The Brexit negotiations should be used to tackle this and the Netherlands should use its veto to make sure there is a level playing field, Asscher said.

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