The next government must make clear choices about the future to keep industry in the Netherlands and to maintain prosperity, according to the SER advisory group, which is made up of employer, union and lay representatives.
“The question is, ‘how are we going to earn our money in the future’,” SER chairman Kim Putters told Nieuwsuur on Thursday evening. “A lot of companies and employers tell me that they are concerned about which technologies and sectors the government will promote in the future.
“What choices will we make, how will we structure the jobs market? Do we have enough skilled workers? Are licences being issued quickly enough?”
Without answering these sorts of questions, companies will threaten to leave, he said. “If we are not clear enough, companies are going to question further investment in the Netherlands… companies want consistency, not policy that changes every year or so.”
Four parties are currently in negotiations on forming a new government but they are far apart on some aspects of economic policy. The far-right PVV, for example, wants to “shred” all climate-related policy and agreements and redistribute money that had been allocated to combating climate change
The SER has sent its vision of the future, covering 36 pages, to coalition negotiator Ronald Plasterk.
Earlier this week, research by PwC suggested that 40% of CEOs in the Netherlands were considering taking their firms out of the country, in a survey based on 73 interviews.
The government’s private sector service provider RVO has also warned that the current mishmash of “rules, laws and programmes” is becoming too large and too complex.
“Politicians are full of plans but forget to make sure they can be put into practice,” the RVO said. “As a consequence, employers can no longer see the wood for the trees, and are becoming frustrated.”
“We can do more with less,” said director general Abdeluheb Choho. “But we need sharp political choices. And it is essential that keeping it simple, achievable and being able to put it into practice are central.”
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