Opposition MPs have criticised the government for doing too little to prevent the latest lockdown, in an emergency parliamentary debate on the severe restrictions which came into force on Sunday.
Maarten Hijink, for the SP, was blisteringly critical: ‘Other countries are taking less extensive measures because they don’t have their backs against the wall like this government,’ he said. ‘There’s no space in healthcare, the booster campaign is too late, measures were taken too late and this is why we have our backs against this wall.’
Meanwhile Nilüfer Gündoğan, MP for Volt, pointed out the lack of a long-term strategy. ‘I’ve handed in motion after motion calling for a long-term strategy that could have been employed when infections were low,’ she said. ‘If we had done this, we wouldn’t be in the trouble we’re in now.’
Aujke de Vries, MP for the VVD, defended the government’s actions – particularly a loosening of restrictions and distancing rules in September. She said: ‘You can choose to have rules for a very long time but I think that is hard to explain to win people’s support, for their wellbeing and for businesses, when at that moment hospital and intensive care occupancy did not indicate doing this.
She added that once urgent matters are dealt with, the government does need to change its strategy.
‘We do need to look at long-term policy….for this winter, for the next winters and for the next pandemic,’ she said.
A Dutch coalition deal was agreed last week, 271 days after the general election and 11 months since the government resigned over the childcare benefits scandal. Prime minister Mark Rutte will put together a new and extended cabinet during the current winter break.
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.
We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.Make a donation