The minority cabinet is working very closely with the fundamentalist Christian SGP, which has two seats in the lower house of parliament, newspaper Spits reports on Monday.
Last week, the cabinet agreed to adopt an SGP plan that would lessen the effect of changes on the support system on poorer families with more than two children. It was one of only a few amendments to the 2012 budget to win ministerial approval.
But Spits says that far from being ‘a surprise’, the change of heart had been worked out in advance by ministers and the SGP.
The paper claims government officials had met SGP representatives several times since the summer to calculate the financial affect of the amendment.
MPs from the D66 Liberals and GroenLinks have called on social affairs minister Henk Kamp to answer the allegations. ‘It would appear that the cabinet put this [the changes] in the budget so the SGP can make a point out of them,’ GroenLinks Ineke van Gent told news agency ANP.
D66 MP Fatima Koser Kaya said she wanted to know exactly what had been agreed ‘behind the scenes’.
It is not the first time the government has amended legislation to take the SGP into account.
One of the first acts of the new government last year was to announce plans to tighten up Sunday trading laws, even though the VVD had opposed new controls during the campaign.
The move was widely seen as a gesture to the SGP by the coalition, which only has a majority of one in the lower house and no majority in the upper house.
The SGP opposes votes for women, regards homosexuality as a sin and believes the country should be run along biblical principles.
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl
The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation.
DutchNews.nl has been free for 16 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.