Left-wing opposition propose higher healthcare salaries, lower rents in counter budget

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Left-wing opposition parties GroenLinks, SP, and PvdA want to invest 9.4 billion euros extra into increasing the salaries of healthcare workers and lowering rents, among other things. This extra investment can be paid for by increasing taxes for companies and wealthy citizens, they said in a counter-budget they want to discuss in the parliamentary debate on the national budge with Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Wednesday, NOS reports.

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Left-wing opposition parties GroenLinks, SP, and PvdA want to invest 9.4 billion euros extra into increasing the salaries of healthcare workers and lowering rents, among other things. This extra investment can be paid for by increasing taxes for companies and wealthy citizens, they said in a counter-budget they want to discuss in the parliamentary debate on the national budge with Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Wednesday, NOS reports.

The three left-wing parties' counter budget proposes to freeze the health insurance premiums, and structurally increase salaries for people who work in healthcare and reduce their workload. This will cost a total of 4.5 billion euros.

Extra money must go to culture and development cooperation. The landlord levy housing corporations pay must be reduced by 1.6 billion euros, so that corporations can use that money to lower rents, build more homes, and make existing homes more sustainable.

They also want to spend an extra 2.3 billion euros on measures to help citizens through the coronavirus crisis. This involves making sure wages continue to get paid, and the abolition of the partner test, which results in self-employed persons with an earning partner often not qualifying for income support.

To pay for their plans, the left-wing parties want to increase the highest corporate tax rate, the tax companies pay on their profits, from 25 percent to 30 percent. "That is quite possible," SP leader Lilian Marijnissen said. "In my lifetime alone, corporate tax has halved."

Despite the coronavirus crisis, the three left-wing parties don't think it unreasonable to ask something extra from the business community. "Many companies are having a hard time, but at the same time there are also companies that are making substantial profits during corona. This is about profit tax, which you only pay when you make profit," Marijnissen said.

The three parties also want to increase the tax on assets above 100 thousand euros. Anyone with more than 150 thousand euros in assets will then be charged a rate of 60 percent, according to the broadcaster. 

"The cabinet chooses to give billions to large businesses That money will not go to lower rents, not to healthcare salaries, and not to tackling climate change," GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver said to NOS. GroenLinks, SP and PvdA want to make clear that other choices are possible.

"The most important thing is that we help people through the crisis, that they can keep working," PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher said. "That we give care workers more appreciation and ensure that homes are built."

The government presented their plans for 2021 on Budget Day on Tuesday. The opposition parties were largely satisfied with King Willem-Alexander's traditional Budget Day speech, but critical of the content of the budget.


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