New ministers face MPs in tough two-day debate on new government plans

The new ministerial line-up. Photo: RVD Valerie Kupers

Prime minister Mark Rutte and his new team of ministers will start two days of debate on the new government’s plans on Wednesday morning, with proposals to raise value-added tax and cut corporate taxes likely to come under heavy fire.

All 23 ministers and junior ministers are in the lower house of parliament to take part in the debate, the first to give opposition MPs the chance to criticise the new cabinet’s plans.

In addition, Geert Wilders, leader of the anti-immigration PVV, has introduced a motion of no confidence in Kasja Ollongren, the new home affairs minister, who has dual Dutch and Swedish nationality.

The PVV has also launched a campaign against new justice minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus for stating he believes jihadis should be allowed to return to the Netherlands.

Other issues in the firing line are likely to be the decision to scrap the consultative referendum process. In particular, questions will be raised about the new alliance’s apparent decision to ignore the result of a pending referendum on new legislation giving the security services far greater electronic surveillance powers.

Rutte and his team are also likely to face tough questioning about their ambitious plans to cut greenhouse gases, which the government’s own environmental agency says are unlikely to have the desired effect.

The three left-wing opposition parties GroenLinks, PvdA and SP, said on Tuesday that they will make the btw tax increase and cuts in dividend and corporation taxes key issues. Combined the two cuts will cost the treasury €4.7bn, they point out.

The debate is being livestreamed on