NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 23:50
Higher minimum wages? A stop to even higher prices at the pump? It is still unclear whether political parties will agree in the General Political Considerations on plans to do more for purchasing power than the outgoing cabinet.
The government announced on Budget Day that it would provide, among other things, 2 billion for poverty reduction. Almost all parties say they want to do more than that, but majorities in favor of plans are not yet in sight.
For example, VVD, PVV, Forum for Democracy, BBB, SP, Denk, JA21, Groep Van Haga and MP Den Haan believe that the excise duty increase on petrol and diesel from January 1 should be scrapped. But it is still unclear how it should be paid for. Due to the lack of this coverage, the CDA has doubts. Moreover, that party believes that there should also be more money for public transport, something that ChristenUnie, PVV and GroenLinks-PvdA also advocated.
Political reporter Xander van der Wulp:
“Now that the cabinet is outgoing, this seems to be the opportunity for parties in the House to get things done among themselves. But that is not yet easy: there are many parties, there are many different wishes and the financial resources are limited. One wants to do something about the minimum wage, the other for middle incomes.
It turns out to be complicated to find majorities without a coalition that agrees on things in advance. Maybe it will be possible to do something about petrol prices, but parties are in a bit of a split: on the one hand they are looking for cooperation, on the other hand they want to distinguish themselves with a view to upcoming elections.”
Many parties come up with proposals for a higher minimum wage in their election manifestos, but in the debate VVD and CDA also comment on increasing it. VVD faction leader Hermans does not call it “the first choice she makes”. She also wants to do something for people with a middle income.
CDA party leader Bontenbal thinks an increase in the minimum wage is sympathetic, but also risky. He points to economists who have been warning about its effects on prices for some time. “Do we have enough for the glasses?” he wonders. It does not appear that a majority will change the minimum wage before next year.
The debate was often about purchasing power, but a remarkable discussion also arose between PVV leader Wilders and Forum leader Baudet.
Wilders to Baudet: you are already quite far on the way to the moon
While in recent years the focus of the Reflections was often on Rutte as prime minister, this was hardly the case now. The parties asked Rutte few questions, so he could be ready quickly during his response period on Thursday.
It is expected that there will be long breaks – suspensions – so that parties still have time to see whether majorities can be found for their plans proposed on Thursday. It will only become clear during the votes, at the end of the Reflections, whether this has really been achieved.
Would you like to watch the entire debate? Then read the live blog of the first day here.