Saturday 17 August 2019

VVD pulls out of local coalition in dispute over climate plan

The right-wing VVD party has pulled out of a local coalition in a dispute over new measures to tackle climate change.

The VVD group said that plans by the administration in Rijswijk, in Zuid-Holland province, to take all homes in the municipality off the gas main by 2040 went too far. The party wants to wait until The Hague and local government association agree nationwide have decided how to share the cost.

The move reflects growing disquiet within the VVD about the agreement reached last year to meet the government’s climate change target. Leading politicians including parliamentary group leader Klaas Dijkhoff have argued that the burden falls too heavily on ordinary citizens. The issue has caused tensions at national level with junior coalition partners such as D66 in the run-up to provincial elections in March.

The Rijswijk group said in a statement it was breaking off from the coalition with D66, GreenLeft and local party Wij.Rijswijk because its partners had ruled out delaying the decision on the climate change plan. The package of measures was due to be put to a council vote on Tuesday.

It said: ‘It is difficult for citizens to get a clear picture, particularly of the financial consequences in the measures proposed in the “vision for energy” to enable Rijkswijk to become completely gas free in 2040. At the moment there are too many questions and too few concrete figures on the costs and revenues.’

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