Tuesday 30 November 2021

Campaign trail: CBP says manifestos all okay, Groningen gas

Groningen’s gas is suddenly a campaign issue. Photo: Graham Dockery

The Dutch go to the polls to elect a new government in 27 days and political parties are gearing up. Here’s a round-up of today’s ‘other’ election news.

CBS analyses economic policies

All the political parties which allowed the CPB to look at their election manifesto plans are happy with the economic think-tank’s analyses.

Despite wide differences in the financial underpinnings of each manifesto, all show that people will have more to spend next year. In particular, the Labour party, Socialists and GroenLinks are the best in terms of spending power while the VVD tops the list in terms of cutting unemployment in the long term, news agency ANP said.

CDA leader Sybrand Buma says the analysis shows his party is good for both families and healthcare, while D66 chief Alexander Pechtold says the report proves his party is both ambitious and realistic.

The results of the analysis, which runs to nearly 400 pages, will be largely irrelevant after the March 15 vote because no party ever gets to implement its economic policies in full.

A day off to vote?

BNN television presenter Tim Hofman has launched a campaign to have election day turned into a public holiday, so that people can celebrate being allowed to vote. The campaign is part of a concerted effort by a number of young presenters and bloggers to encourage youngsters to vote on March 15. Some 850,000 people will be first-time voters.

‘We have a day off on the king’s birthday, we celebrate Liberation Day so why not celebrate living in a free country in which we can vote,’ says initiative supporter Rutger de Quay.

Less gas in Groningen

The unanimous support in parliament on Wednesday to further reduce the amount of gas being extracted in Groningen province means this is likely to become part of the next coalition agreement, commentators say.

MPs from across the political spectrum voted for a cutback in gas production and better help for locals affected by earthquakes caused by the land settling.

Local campaigners point out that the motion did not set a limit on gas production but say they are happy that gas company NAM will no longer be in charge of deciding on compensation levels.

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