Wednesday 16 October 2019

Employers chief says Rutte’s pay rise plea will hurt the VVD

Photo: Sebastiaan ter Burg via Wikimedia Commons

Prime minister Mark Rutte’s threat to abandon corporate tax cuts if companies don’t put up wages may cause significant damage to the right-wing VVD’s political fortunes, employers leader Hans de Boer says in an interview with Thursday’s Financieele Dagblad.

Last weekend Rutte told the VVD party congress the government may reconsider cutting corporation tax if big companies did not start putting up wages significantly.

‘The only thing which is going up is the salaries of senior staff, not people covered by collective labour agreements (cao),’ Rutte said. ‘They are not going up enough, and I do not consider that to be acceptable.’

But the suggestion, the VNO-NCW chief told the FD, will hurt the tens of thousands of smaller companies which pay corporation tax, as well as the big multinationals. ‘Maybe he might win back 10,000 Socialist Party voters, but he’ll lose the entrepreneurs and that cannot be his aim,’ De Boer said.

The leader of the Netherlands’ biggest employers organisation also pointed out that taxes and premiums have risen considerably under the three cabinets led by Rutte.

The collective tax and premium burden has risen from 36% of GDP in 2010 to almost 40% last year, he said. ‘That is how governments impact the spending power of the man in the street,’ he said.

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