New coalition accord includes general amnesty
3 February 2007, AMSTERDAM – The negotiators from Christian Democrat CDA, Labour PvdA and ChristenUnie have reached agreement on a coalition accord for the new government.
3 February 2007
AMSTERDAM – The negotiators from Christian Democrat CDA, Labour PvdA and ChristenUnie have reached agreement on a coalition accord for the new government.
Jan Peter Balkenende (CDA), Wouter Bos (PvdA) and André Rouvoet (ChristenUnie) will present the document to their parliamentary factions on Monday.
The last passages in the text will be completed in the coming days. The most important policy points for the new cabinet have been revealed in the meantime however.
As announced earlier, workers retiring before the age of 65 will have to pay extra tax. The parties hope this will keep services for the elderly affordable in the future. Those who continue to work until retirement age will be given a tax advantage.
Another important part of the new coalition accord is that the mortgage interest relief scheme will remain intact.
The new government also plans to make significant investments to improve education, the environment, and underprivileged neighbourhoods.
Funds will be freed up by cuts to the civil service and decreased bureaucracy in healthcare.
Asylum seekers who have been in the Netherlands since 2001 or earlier will also be granted a general amnesty.
Childcare however will not be free, contrary to the wishes of the PvdA. But an extra 750 million euro will be devoted to making childcare better and more affordable.
The future of the old age pension and the mortgage interest relief scheme formed the greatest stumbling blocks in the government formation talks.
The compromise for financing the old-age pension met with little enthusiasm from trade unions and organisations for the elderly on Friday. Nor was the Socialist Party or the Liberal VVD pleased.
[Copyright Expatica + ANP 2007]
Subject: Dutch news