Cutbacks in care, housing and social security thorny issue PvdA and GL

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GroenLinks and PvdA will not cooperate with the cabinet’s proposed cuts in youth care, nursing home care, discount for young disabled people and social assistance. This is what party leaders Attje Kuiken (PvdA) and Jesse Klaver (GroenLinks) promise at an election meeting. They also say they want to prevent any new cuts from the VVD.

MIDDELBURG – Party chairmen Attje Kuiken (PvdA) and Jesse Klaver (GroenLinks) during a joint campaign in the run-up to the Provincial Council elections. (ANP / ANP / ROBIN UTRECHT)


‘If you cut back on care, housing and social security, the cement of society crumbles and threatens to collapse’, says Klaver in a press statement. In it, he and Kuiken respond to statements by the leader of the VVD in the Senate, former minister Edith Schippers. ‘The VVD has been threatening to cut spending for months, but does not want to say on what. It’s time for them to open up and show their colors. I like to challenge the VVD to do that’, says Kuiken.

The parties point to the election program of the VVD and note that 6.8 billion euros could be cut in areas such as social security, benefits, education and sustainable energy. The government’s proposed cutbacks in youth care, nursing home care, discount for young disabled persons and social assistance are a ‘breaking point’ for the parties. If necessary, the parties say they will block the laws or budgets that regulate this.

The elections on March 15 are actually for the Provincial Council, but because they elect the members of the Senate, they also have direct national consequences. The coalition that supports the incumbent cabinet already lacks a majority in the senate. It looks like the four coalition parties (VVD, D66, CDA and ChristenUnie) will soon get even fewer seats.

Pull up together

GroenLinks and PvdA each participate in the elections to the Senate with their own lists, and then merge the factions in the senate. According to the polls, this could make it the largest group. The VVD has often lashed out this campaign at the ‘left cloud’, as VVD leader Mark Rutte called the two parties, to prevent that.

The joint campaign meeting in Middelburg is the first of four so-called town halls organized by PvdA and GroenLinks. With this they kick off in the only province where the two parties have actually formed a joint list: Zeeland.

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