Saturday 28 November 2020

MPs want royals to pay income tax, but prime minister says no

tax envelopeA clear majority of MPs think the royal family should pay tax, like the rest of the Dutch, and that their palaces, where possible, should be open to the public.

Two votes in favour of change on Tuesday night pose a potential problem for prime minister Mark Rutte who two weeks ago defended the hike in allowances for the Dutch royal family and their tax free status, arguing that ‘a deal is a deal’.

The king does not pay inheritance tax or on his income and some assets, a position set down in the Dutch constitution.

However, MPs who back ending the tax-free status of the royal family pressed ahead with a motion calling for change late on Tuesday night.

The prime minister said immediately he would set the motion aside. ‘I completely disagree on this. I am not going to do it. The government only draws up legislation if it supports it,’ the prime minister said.

The Volkskrant points out that MPs will now have to draft changes to the law themselves and that amending the constitution is a long and complex process.

A second motion, calling on the palaces to be open to the public, including school parties, was also passed by a large majority. Rutte also opposed this, arguing that Huis ten Bosch is a family home and Noordeinde is an office.

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