The four parties negotiating to form a new coalition government are very close to agreement and hope to present their plans at the beginning of next week, 11 months after the cabinet stood down over the childcare benefit scandal and nine months after the general election.
‘We have made progress and we are almost there,’ said ChristenUnie leader Gert Jan Segers, late on Thursday evening, while D66 leader Sigrid Kaag spoke off a ‘good and ambitious’ deal.
The talks between the VVD, D66, CDA and CU will resume on Friday afternoon, and a number of outside organisations, including the local authority association VNG and the water boards have also been invited to take part, broadcaster NOS reported.
Once the deal has been finalised and published, it will be debated by parliament – probably next week. Prime minister Mark Rutte will then start work on putting together a team of ministers for his fourth cabinet during the Christmas break.
Insiders say that the deal includes major investments in climate strategy, the housing shortage, education and in tackling nitrogen compound pollution.
According to NOS reporter Ron Fresen, the deal also includes the introduction of some form of road pricing, where motorists pay tax according to how much they drive. Childcare will become partly free of charge.
The Telegraaf has already said that the new ministerial team is likely to consist of 20 ministers and 10 juniors. And according to Fresen, the new cabinet will be 50% female.
The job of finance minister is also likely to go to D66, which takes over from the CDA as the second biggest party in the coalition. That means current finance minister Wopke Hoekstra will be given a job elsewhere in the cabinet.
The NRC reports that health minister Hugo de Jonge is also unlikely to stay in the role but that no decision has yet been taken about what job he should get in government.
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