Tuesday 26 May 2020

VVD MP who was thrown out of the party joins far right FvD

VVD MP who was thrown out of the party joins far right FvD

A former VVD parliamentarian who was thrown out of the party last October but kept his seat in parliament has joined the far right Forum voor Democratie. ‘It is a great party and they are all decent people,’ Wybren van Haga told current affairs programme EenVandaag. ‘[Leader] Thierry Baudet and I have been working together in parliament for some time.’ Van Haga was banished from VVD last September when it emerged that he had broken an undertaking with his party... More >

Audit office criticises airline shares buy

The national audit office has been highly critical of the Dutch government’s decision to buy more shares in Air France-KLM, saying ministers had broken the ‘tolerance limit’ for the first time since 2008. The Audit Office is charged with monitoring government expenditure and makes its formal report to parliament once a year. The government spent almost €750m buying the shares last year, and parliament was not informed in advance. This made the purchase unlawful, the auditor said in his report.... More >

Cabinet, experts plot next Covid-19 moves

Prime minister Mark Rutte will hold a press conference on Tuesday evening to outline the government’s latest position on combating the spread of coronavirus. The prime minister is expected to say that secondary schools, cinemas, cafes and restaurants can re-open with limits on numbers, as outlined in the government’s road map two weeks ago. The prime minister will also outline what measures the government is planning to take to boost testing and contact tracing – which is a key part... More >

Cut income tax, raise asset tax: report

The Dutch tax system needs overhauling, with less emphasis on taxing income and more on taxing assets, according to finance ministry researchers. The researchers drew up a list of seven problems with the current system and 169 points to consider, which they hope the next government will use in drawing up its tax strategy. At the same time, policy initiatives have been worked out which ‘aim to reduce the difference in tax pressure between employers, the self-employed and pensioners, tackle... More >

Denk trio agree truce to end civil war

The three MPs elected to parliament for Denk have called a truce in the civil war that led to the departure of two leaders in recent months. Farid Azarkan, Tunahan Kuzu and Selçuk Öztürk said they had held ‘constructive talks’ about the future of the party. The trio issued a joint press release on Monday with the title ‘Reconciliation at Denk’. Azarkan has been readmitted to the party after being expelled a week ago for what was described as ‘open... More >

D66 leader slams Dutch EU approach

The Dutch approach to the EU, anchored in the government accord, is too rigid in times of corona and must be abandoned to make way for steps towards a more mutually supportive Europe, D66 parliamentary group leader Rob Jetten has said in an interview with the NRC at the weekend. Instead of putting the brakes on a more integrated transfer union, as stipulated in the accord, further integration should be encouraged so richer countries can increase support for poorer member... More >

VVD on top thanks to corona handling

The latest poll of polls shows coalition party VVD has increased its lead to between 40 to 46 seats, gaining 9 since the start of the coronavirus crisis, broadcaster NOS reports. The poll of polls (Peilingwijzer) is a combination of four separate opinion polls produced by I&O Research, Ipsos, EenVandaag and Kantar. Poll compiler Tom Louwerse said the VVD’s success should be seen in the context of the public appreciation for the way the cabinet is handling the coronavirus crisis.... More >

New Brabant coalition boosts farmers

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... More >

Denk loses second leader in six weeks

Denk’s parliamentary group leader, Farid Azarkan, has had his membership revoked for ‘rebelling’ against the party hierarchy. Azarkan is the second Denk leader to leave the post in six weeks after one of the party’s founders, Tunahan Kuzu, resigned over an affair. The third Denk MP and party chairman, Selçuk Öztürk, was accused of reviving the two-year-old liaison with a female party worker to undermine Kuzu. Azarkan sided with Kuzu and called for Öztürk and the board to resign in... More >