Expatica news

Dutch news in brief – 12 February

Minister admits taxes will stimulate traffic jams

Transport Minister Karla Peijs has admitted that the government’s new tax measures negatively impact the government’s efforts to reduce traffic congestion. CPB figures indicate that traffic jams will increase 9 percent over 10 years and the minister admitted the tax measures reduce commuting costs and thus reward people who live a large distance from work. MPs believe that employers will to use the tax attractive option of compensating workers’ commuting costs to thwart higher wage demands. Finance State Secretary Joop Wijn has urged employers for moderation and said he will supervise how they react to the new tax measures.

Leaking poison caused minor North Sea pollution

The leaking of an agricultural poison from recovered cargo containers in the North Sea led to a small and temporary rise in the level of arsenic in the sea, the Department of Water Management said. The department published results on Thursday of tests taken when the last two containers were recovered. The results taken at the time of the first container’s recovery also showed minor pollution. The cargo ship Andinet lost the three containers and their load of arsenic pentoxide in a wild storm shortly before Christmas. The three containers were recovered in January.

MPs force minister to urge lower rent rise

Housing Minister Sybilla Dekker will strongly urge landlords to moderate planned rent rises, but will not stipulate a permitted maximum percentage rise. A majority of MPs are demanding a lower-than-expected 3 percent increase in rent and Dekker has indicated she will try to convince housing corporations at the end of February to reduce the percentage. The green-left GroenLinks and Labour PvdA have threatened to lodge a motion requesting an advised maximum of 2.2 percent.

Youths confess to threat, beating

Three 17-year-old boys have confessed to threatening and beating a 16-year-old Nijmegen boy at school. The victim had been involved in a dispute with the suspects on the weekend and he was kicked and beaten during a school break on Monday. The three suspects were arrested on Thursday, one of whom allegedly threatened the victim with a gun and police inquiries continue. The incident comes after a 16-year-old student shot and killed a teacher in The Hague last month.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news