Tax increase on theatre tickets postponed
The Dutch government has been forced to postpone plans to increase Value Added Tax VAT on theatre and concert tickets for six months. VAT on tickets was due to go up from 6 percent to 19 percent on 1 January. However, the Upper House rejected the measure threatening to throw out the whole budget if it was not amended.
Eventually Deputy Finance Minister Frans Weekers agreed to postpone the measure after the Upper House suggested calling Prime Minister Mark Rutte back from holiday to explain why government had brushed aside its motion. The VAT on tickets for the arts has become a sensitive issue because the government ignored an Upper House motion asking the cabinet to amend the measure.
The government coalition does not have a majority in the Upper House, and at present there are no Senators for the Freedom Party either. The minority conservative VVD - Christian Democrat coalition relies on parliamentary support from the anti-Islam Freedom Party in the Lower House.
The make-up of the Upper House may change in June after the new Senators have been installed. The Upper House is indirectly elected via the provincial elections, which are due in March. This means the three parties may have a majority in the Upper House by then.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide