Update Dutch Politics – Parliamentary year kicked off with new government in sight

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New government may include more ministers and major overhaul of income tax system

  • At the start of the new parliamentary year, the Netherlands is still run by a care-taker government, consisting of VVD (Liberal Conservatives) and PvdA (Social Democrats) – until a new government is formed.
  • It’s been 176 days since Election Day (15 March 2017), which already makes it the second longest formation period in Dutch political history.
  • However, the four negotiating parties VVD (Liberal Conservatives), CDA (Christian Democrats), D66 (Liberal Democrats) and Christian Union (Christian Conservatives) are expected to reach an agreement within weeks – possibly shortly after Budget Day (19 September).
  • The new government is likely to have a bigger Cabinet team with 16 ministers (the present Cabinet only has 13):

– One new ministerial post is likely to be that of minister for climate, while responsibility for food and farming could become a separate job. [The food and agriculture rolls are currently divided between the economic affairs and health ministries.]

– It seems the two Christian parties are not pressing ahead with demands for a ‘minister for the family’

  • The four parties involved in the negotiations are also considering a major overhaul of the income tax system. They are looking at abolishing two of the four tax bands and implementing a flat tax, and only high earners surpassing a certain limit would pay a different rate on their earnings.

For more information: publicmatters.nl