NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 21:30
Three constitutional law professors have sent an urgent letter to the Senate criticizing the Future Pensions Act. It is scheduled to be voted on tomorrow evening.
According to professors Wim Voermans, Paul Bovend’Eert and Joost Sillen, Minister Schouten for Pensions should repeal the law and the Senate should discontinue its debate because, in their opinion, it does not comply with the constitution.
Their criticism is not aimed at the new pension system as such. They are concerned with a provision in the constitution that says that if a vote is taken on the income of MPs, a two-thirds majority of the votes is required.
According to the professors, the new pension law also concerns the income of MPs and former MPs and the provision in the constitution applies.
Professor by special appointment of parliamentary history Bert van den Braak also joined the discussion. He points out that a pension amendment that also related to MPs had already been adopted, which was not adopted with a two-thirds majority at the time. That, he says, sets a precedent.
Schouten had already submitted this issue to the Council of State and the House of Representatives when the law was being drafted. The minister takes the position that this concerns a technical amendment to the pension law, for which the constitutional article is not intended.
A spokesman for Schouten says that the minister maintains this position.
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The Future Pensions Act was passed in the House of Representatives with a large majority, but not with a two-thirds majority. In the roll call vote, 93 MPs were in favor and 48 against.
Opponents of the new pension law in the Senate, such as senators Tiny Kox (SP) and Martin van Rooijen (50Plus), asked the professors for advice. They already announced that they would appeal to the objection of the professors tomorrow.
It is up to the rest of the Senate how to respond to this tomorrow. Just like in the House of Representatives, it is expected that there will be an ‘ordinary’, ie no two-thirds, majority in favor of the new pension system.
The debate in the Senate on this will start at 10 a.m. The votes on the pension law are scheduled for tomorrow evening at 9.25 pm.