Majority of Dutch MPs support road pricing plan

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Transport Minister Camiel Eurlings has told the Dutch lower house that he will cancel the introduction of road pricing if there is insufficient support for the system.

The opposition wants the scheme dropped, but a majority of MPs support the plan. The lower house held a debate with the minister on Thursday to give the go-ahead for road pricing. Motorists will pay taxes for the distance covered by car, rather than the current across-the-board road tax.

Eurlings repeated his rejection of claims that road pricing will be expensive. On the first day of the debate on Wednesday, conservative MP Charlie Aptroot accused the minister of lying and of supplying incorrect figures. Aptroot said that motorists will face higher costs with road pricing, but Eurlings pointed out that there will be 15 percent fewer cars on the roads, bringing down delays, which will greatly benefit people driving to work and business in general.

Conservative VVD, together with the leading opposition Socialist Party and Geert Wilders' Freedom Party are against road pricing, but a majority in the house is expected to vote in favour. At the end of the debate the majority poured scorn on conservative Aptroot who baulked at tabling a motion of no confidence despite his fierce criticism earlier in the session.

Radio Netherlands/ Expatica

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