Saturday 15 August 2020

Brabant coalition boosts farmers, cuts spending on the arts

A tractor at a farmers’ protest in The Hague. Photo: Molly Quell

The new provincial authority in Noord-Brabant, comprising the far right Forum voor Democratie, the VVD, CDA and local interest party Lokaal Brabant, has published its coalition agreement, giving more help to farmers and slashing spending on the arts.

The previous administration collapsed at the end of last year when the CDA said it could not support far-reaching efforts to reduce nitrogen-based pollution, because of the impact on farming. The Dutch livestock sector is concentrated in the province.

The agreement gives farmers 18 more months to replace old barns and innovate than originally envisaged. It also introduces corrective referendums and ‘welcomes’ nuclear power but does recognise the role wind and solar power will have in meeting climate targets.

Culture and the arts, however, have been brought under a new portfolio – Free Time – together with sport and recreation. Cultural institutions must prepare for the ‘gradual reduction’ of subsidies heading for the ‘new normal post 2023′, the coalition agreement states.

Nature management has also been combined with the farming portfolio.’Farming and nature are allies not enemies,’ CDA alderman Elies Lemkes said at the presentation.

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