CDA angry over leak in wage talks

15th March 2006, Comments 0 comments

15 March 2006, AMSTERDAM — Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende's Christian Democrat (CDA) party has reacted furiously to the leak of information about salary increase proposals for elected politicians.

15 March 2006

AMSTERDAM — Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende's Christian Democrat (CDA) party has reacted furiously to the leak of information about salary increase proposals for elected politicians.

The party has indicated it will no longer discuss the recommendations made by the Dijkstal commission with other parties.

The CDA took the decision because it accuses the opposition Labour Party (PvdA) of portraying the CDA and its coalition partner, the Liberal Party (VVD), as "profiteers". The CDA also accuses the left-wing parties of leaking details of the talks to RTL News.

The commission, led by former VVD leader Hans Dijkstal, recommended the prime minister should get a 30 percent increase in wages and MPs should get 2 percent.

A more recent report by the Emolumenten commission, parliament's own salary monitor, indicated MPs would suffer financially under the Dijkstal recommendation.

The wage increases suggested have annoyed the left-wing parties. Labour leader Wouter Bos has indicated he would not accept a 30 percent increase if he becomes prime minister after the election next year. He thinks 10 percent is sufficient.

The idea of compensating MPs to cover their health insurance premiums was ruled out when the Emolumenten commission talked to Interior Minister Johan Remkes in February.

RTL News reported the Emolumenten commission disagreed sharply with Dijkstal in relation to the pay for MPs. Rather than the 2 percent increase, the parliamentary commission is seeking a hike from EUR 6,737 to EUR 7,349 a month for parliamentarians, the broadcaster said.

Emolumenten chairman Pieter Hofstra (VVD) said there was no question of MPs granting themselves a big increase as RTL suggested. "MPs sit in a glasshouse and we always deal carefully with matters such as this," he said.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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