Dutch Socialists hit by another contribution incident

8th February 2012, Comments 0 comments

The Socialist Party in the Netherlands is facing its second incident in a week involving its controversial compulsory contribution system.

The party requires all of its members serving as legislators or officials at local, provincial and national level to ‘donate’ their salary to the party. They have to sign an agreement to that effect before taking office.

SP members who work full-time at their political jobs such as MPs and aldermen then receive a standard income from the party 33,000 euros in 2012.

Councillors and members of provincial executives, who normally hold a part-time job in addition to their political work, receive an allowance of between 25 and for councillors in major cities 50 percent of their salaries. 

Compulsory The latest incident involves Tilburg councillor Veerle Slegers who has been refusing to hand over her salary since 2009. She will lose her seat on the council effective immediately unless she resumes making full payments to the party.

Ms Slegers is a member of the Tilburg local council as well as of the Noord-Brabant provincial executive. She stopped making the compulsory contribution to the party coffers because her two political jobs meant fewer hours at her regular job and she suffered a loss of income as a result.

A commission created by the Tilburg branch of the party ruled that she must resume her compulsory payments as of 1 April and repay all the money owed since 2009.

SP councillor Simon Polman from Lelystad was expelled on Tuesday for refusing to donate his salary to the party. He decided to give it to the local food bank instead.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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