Tuesday 10 December 2019

Labour threatens to torpedo education ministry budget over teacher shortages

Photo: Joep Poulssen

Labour leader Lodewijk Asscher has said his party will vote against both the 2020 tax plan and education ministry budget unless the government comes up with more money to combat the teacher shortage and cuts taxes for people on low incomes.

Asscher told the Volkskrant on Wednesday that he will use the budget debate to make a last-ditch effort for more cash because the government has enough money in its coffers to solve the problems.

‘If you don’t opt to tackle poverty and homelessness at a time when you have a lot of money, then it certainly won’t happen when the economy is against us,’ the Labour leader said.

The government needs the support of one large opposition party to steer its plans through the upper house of parliament because it no longer has a majority in the 75 seat senate.

However, Asscher’s threat to vote no may not have any effect, given that the left-wing green party GroenLinks has said it will not block the tax changes, the Volkskrant points out.

GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver has said he does not want the issue to become a question of scoring points and that there are too many good things in the tax plan to reject it.

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