Coalition agreement is presented to the public
The Rutte-Verhagen government has presented its plans to the public, which include 18 billion euros in cuts. “Everyone will feel something,” says conservative VVD leader Mark Rutte, “but the effect on spending power will not be too severe.”
Immigration policies will be tightened and law and order will be improved. “Vandals will pay more for damage,” says Mr Rutte. A national police force will be introduced and 3000 extra police officers will be taken on. Teachers’ pay will be linked to performance. There will be fewer politicians, as the number of members of the Upper and Lower Houses of parliament in the Netherlands will be reduced and ministries will merge.
CDA leader Maxime Verhagen said he is convinced that the agreement will appeal to all Christian Democrats. Mark Rutte called it “an agreement to be proud of”.
On Tuesday, agreement was reached on two agreements, a coalition agreement between the conservative VVD and the Christian Democrats as well as a second agreement between all three parties in which the Freedom Party pledges its parliamentary support. The new government’s motto is “Freedom and Responsibility”.
Freedom Party leader is also proud of the support agreement which he has negotiated with the VVD and Christian Democrats. He says he has fought hard to make sure parts of the welfare state were spared the cuts.
Mr Wilders says, redundancy laws and social security for people who have lost their jobs remain unchanged. Retirement age will increase to 66 and not 67 and benefits will not be frozen. Almost a billion euros will be set aside for care for the elderly. The plans also include a burka ban.
The Christian Democrats parliamentary party is still divided over the agreements. The majority of CDA MPs support the outcome of the coalition talks, but there are at least two out of the 21 MPs who disagree with a cabinet supported by the anti-Islam Freedom Party. Christian Democrat leader Maxime Verhagen says he is certain that CDA members will vote for the deal at a congress in Arnhem on Saturday. The final decision by CDA MPs will be taken after Saturday’s vote.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide