The farmer citizen movement BBB has launched its election manifesto, calling for the abolition of the “nitrogen” minister and more status for people with a practical education.
In a speech last week, leader Caroline van der Plas criticised centralised technocracy, a government inspiring mistrust and division, and too little attention to the countryside and regions.
The BBB, which is understood to have conducted training sessions for potential MPs earlier this month, launched a manifesto with the slogan “every day BBBetter”.
Instead of a separate minister for nature and nitrogen compound pollution, the party wants one minister combining agriculture, nature, fisheries and food quality. It wants to model government on “noaberschap”, a countryside code of neighbourly assistance, rather than a “white collar government” and have a looser kind of coalition accord with more ongoing influence for business, farmers and citizens.
In terms of concrete policy proposals, the party wants to limit the number of accepted asylum seekers to 15,000 a year, including the family members of settled refugees. It wants to spread them “fairly” across the country and would not give them priority for housing.
It wants to plant more trees, so that everyone can see at least three from their homes, convert holiday homes into official residences where this is effectively the case, and instead of a benefits system, introduce a tax-free basic allowance of €30,000 for all. VAT would be lowered to zero on fruit and vegetables and there would be more cash for regional military and a new service law.
Van der Plas is head of the list but number two, former CDA politician and junior minister Mona Keijzer, would be prime minister if the party were to surge in the polls to first position. The party is putting up 48 candidates across the country and has dropped back in the polls to fourth, with 11 to 17 seats.
Its manifesto will be discussed and a definitive version will be published after an annual general meeting on September 23. Van der Plas has indicated that she is happy to be part of a coalition and has both left and right wing policies.
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