Dutch news in brief, Wednesday 29 July 2009

29th July 2009, Comments 0 comments

Read the roundup of today's Dutch press from Radio Netherlands.

Socialist Party wants to end politicians' unemployment payments
De Telegraaf reports the Socialist Party (SP) is preparing a bill that would end the huge unemployment payments received by former ministers and members of parliament under the story "Politicians on the dole".

The opposition party says it is unacceptable for politicians to demand salary caps for senior managers, an end to enormous bonuses and wage cuts for public broadcasting employees while they still enjoy "royal unemployment payments".

"I cannot, and will not, explain to voters that while we are prepared to tackle other people's salaries, we are exempting ourselves," said Socialist Party MP Ronald van Raak.  

Most employees are eligible for salary-related unemployment benefits (WW) for a maximum of 38 months. People on WW benefits are required to actively look for work and accept any job offered.

In contrast, unemployed politicians are not required to look for work, they are not required to accept employment and they receive unemployment benefits coupled to their last earned salary for six years.

"Politicians are among the highest paid people in the nation, the majority are well educated and they have excellent connections. How can we tell a 50-year-old unemployed construction worker to get a job if we don't ask the same of unemployed politicians?" said van Raak.

Provinces plan green energy companies
AD reports dozens of municipalities across the Netherlands are planning to start their own energy companies to provide local people with green energy.

According to the director of Tensor Energy – a company specialising in decentralised energy production – Thomas The, there are 34 plans in various stages of completion and they are "expecting a lot more".

The plans range from solar panels and windmills on rooftops to harnessing sea tides.
Recently, numerous provinces and municipalities sold their shares in two large pan-European energy companies and many are planning to put the profits into companies producing energy from sustainable sources.

"Eventually, consumers will pay their energy bills to themselves," said The.

Dutch law still discriminates against gays and lesbians
It's Gay Pride week in the Netherlands so lesbian and gay emancipation is a hot topic in most papers.

However, things are not as rosy in the Netherlands as one would think, writes de Volkskrant.

Under "The Hague is sailing in the parade but emancipation policy is rudderless", the paper says Emancipation Minister Ronald Plasterk of Labour Party has done more for gays and lesbians than his predecessors.

However the paper points out that each time the Labour Party proposes changing discriminatory laws, the Christian Union, usually supported by the Christian Democrats, block the proposal.

"The presence of cabinet members in the parade should not be allowed to disguise the fact that this government has failed to remove legal inequalities and repeal discriminatory laws,” said D66 MP Boris van der Hamm.

Radio Netherlands / Expatica

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