Election watch: cheaper rents and medical ethics in today’s campaign news

Photo: DutchNews.nl
Photo: DutchNews.nl

The Netherlands goes to the polls to elect 150 MPs for the lower house of parliament next week. Here’s a round up of the campaign news from March 10.

D66 leader Sigrid Kaas told NOS television that she considers medical ethical issues should be settled by a free vote and not included in a new coalition agreement.

‘This should be part of the social debate and then debated in parliament,’ she said in a question and answer session. ‘You cannot trade policy when it comes to issues of life and death.’

Good business

SP, GroenLinks, PvdA and ChristenUnie have drawn up a private members bill which would force companies to take a more ethical approach to doing business.  Examples of unethical business include the the sale of clothes made by the forced labour of Uighurs in China, the parties say.

Housing rents

GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver has suggested putting a ceiling of €1,350 on most of the Netherands’ rental housing. The Netherlands currently has around one million homes which are not rent controlled, but the current rules on maximum rents should be expanded to cover all but the most luxurious 5%, Klaver said.

‘Housing has become under affordable under three Rutte-led cabinets,’ Klaver said. ‘Some people are paying half or more of their salaries on rent, and that is unacceptable.’

Wilders pulls out

Geert Wilders, leader of far right party PVV, has pulled out of Thursday evening’s planned interview by Nieuwsuur presenter Marielle Tweebeeke. Wilders said he needed more time to prepare for a debate with prime minister Mark Rutte hosted by Jeroen Pauw later in the evening.

Nieuwsuur editor in chief Joost Oranje told the Volkskrant Wilders’ decision is disappointing. The PVV leader will now feature in three debates with Rutte ( Pauw, NOS and EenVandaag) but not once in a plain interview, he said.

This article will be updated throughout the day

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