Too much regulation seen as bad for Dutch economy

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An excessive number of regulatory bodies is hampering the Dutch economy, according to Christian Democrat MP Gerda Verburg. There are currently sixteen official watchdog authorities, half of which could be scrapped, Ms Verburg told Dutch media.

The bodies are hindering entrepreneurs rather than checking them, while most business sectors are very well able to discipline themselves, the MP said. She is calling on the rightwing government, which includes her own party, to cut back and simplify the regulatory infrastructure in order to stimulate the economy. A proposal to realise this should be before the Lower House on 1 March next year, Ms Verburg suggested.

Give 'em a break The Christian Democrat MP and former Agriculture minister also proposed that industry sectors which have a proven capability to self-regulate should be given an 'inspection break', meaning that no official inspectors should meddle with them for a while.

A reduction in the number of official watchdogs is supported by other parties, including the governing free market liberal VVD, and pro-government Freedom Party, as well as the opposition leftwing liberals of D66. "Proper regulation is a primary duty of the government, which should protect consumers," D66 MP Kees Verhoeven said.

Geert Wilders' Freedom Party pointed out that the remaining regulators should have wide-ranging powers, to prevent a repetition of the banking crisis in which Dutch financial authorities AFM and DNB failed to intervene adequately.

The proposals will be probably be discussed in the Economy Ministry's budget debate on Tuesday.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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