Rutte opens the door for climate dialogue with GroenLinks and PvdA

Prime Minister Mark Rutte is open to collaborate with GroenLinks and PvdA to introduce a CO2 tax and lower the energy bill. The coalition threatens to lose the majority in the senate and is then dependent on support from one or more opposition parties.


Prime Minister Mark Rutte is open to collaborate with GroenLinks and PvdA to introduce a CO2 tax and lower the energy bill. The coalition threatens to lose the majority in the senate and is then dependent on support from one or more opposition parties.

"We do not rule in isolation," the prime minister said on Thursday in the parliamentary debate about the calculations of the draft climate plans.

The provincial state elections that determine the composition of the Senate are on 20 March. Trends in the polls have shown for a long time that VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie are in danger of losing the minimum majority in the senate.

"Thinking about climate policy has changed"

Klaver's call to sit with each other after 20 March to discuss support for the climate plans was answered positively by the prime minister.

Lodewijk Asscher (PvdA) is pleased with the position of the cabinet and expressed his willingness to start the conversation. "The thinking about climate policy has changed. It doesn't happen every day that a center-right cabinet says it needs to be fairer."

The Social Democrat did make a requirement that the income from the CO2 tax should partly go to the citizen. The government is now proposing to return the tax to industry to make it greener.

GroenLinks and the PvdA have been advocating the introduction of a CO2 tax for some time. Their variants are currently being calculated and will, as far as Rutte is concerned, be taken into consideration for the definitive climate agreement to be concluded by the end of April.

CDA person Sybrand Buma does not in principle care what happens with the revenues from the CO2 tax, as long as the tax causes the industry to green, but does not leave the Netherlands.

Road pricing and energy bill reduction

Klaver took an advance on the constructive attitude of the coalition and proposed to reverse the increase in the energy bill before this year, a wish shared by the entire coalition. Although Minister Eric Wiebes (Climate) finds it a sympathetic idea, it is impossible because the Tax Authorities are unable to do so.

Road pricing is also high on the GroenLinkser list. D66 is also in favor, but according to Wiebes it is not in line with the expectation that the tax on car use will reach the final climate agreement.

"The increase in the energy bill was too big"

On Wednesday, the Central Planning Bureau (CPB) and the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) presented the costs and effects of the draft climate policy plans.

This shows that the desired CO2 reduction of 49 percent in 2030 is unlikely to be achieved, that the burdens on households are higher than on companies and that the lowest incomes are the most affected without purchasing power repairs.

With a view to the elections, the government took an advance on the definitive climate agreement: a CO2 tax will be introduced and the energy bill for households will be reduced by 2020 as well. "The increase in the energy bill was too big," said D66 employee Rob Jetten.

Support, skepticism and warnings

The announced measures could count on support in the Chamber, but also on skepticism and warnings for the voter.

It's still too vague for SP leader Lilian Marijnissen. "How much does the energy bill go down? What is the fair part that the business community will pay?"

Marijnissen warned of a new VVD election stunt, a new election promise from Prime Minister Rutte. “Earlier, the prime minister promised not to raise the deductible, that not a cent would go to the Greeks and that everyone would receive 1000 euros. What are the promises of this prime minister worth? ", Said the socialist.

She concluded that the energy bill will not fall by a cent next month and it is also unclear what the bill will look like by 2020.

'VVD is being held hostage by GroenLinks'

PVV leader Geert Wilders also warned voters about what he calls a list. "Don't fall for it," says Wilders. "There is only one way to really reduce the energy bill and that is to send Prime Minister Rutte and this coalition home."

As for Wilders, a vote on 20 March at the VVD is a vote for GroenLinks. "The VVD is being held hostage by GroenLinks."

VVD member Klaas Dijkhoff responded that the VVD is dependent on parties that are open to cooperate. He sees that the PVV is not prepared to do that.

Baudet leaves debate for TV program

Thierry Baudet (FvD) said in the debate that he did not take the figures of the independent calculators of the CPB and the PBL seriously. According to our own calculations, the climate transition will cost 1,000 billion euros.

The amount has already been calculated several times, but appears to be incorrect. The government also contradicts this. "Baudet adds up investments, costs, subsidies and taxes. Then you get double counting," Wiebes said earlier.

Baudet did not experience the end of the debate. After his own input, he left the House of Representatives for a performance in the TV program Pauw and Jinek .

PvdA member Asscher was also invited, but canceled the TV performance. "My voters expect me to stand up for them in the # climate debate," he tweeted.

ref: nunl

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