The House of Representatives is debating with Prime Minister Mark Rutte about the main outlines of the policy for the coming year.

Follow the debate live here.

Livestream: House of Representatives debates at General Discussions

one minute ago

Lodewijk Asscher interrupts the debate with a point of order.

He notes that he must be informed through the media that corona infections are again worryingly high and that the cabinet will announce new measures on Friday.

Asscher wants a letter from the prime minister with the latest state of affairs and which measures the cabinet wants to take before the cabinet answers on Thursday.

31 minutes ago

Heerma continues his argument with a reflection on what the government stands for at the moment.

According to the CDA member, the government is run too much as a company, with citizens as customers.

With targets to be achieved and where efficiency is central.

As an example of where things went wrong, he cites the childcare allowance affair.

Heerma believes that the government should be more at the service of citizens.

To begin with, he thinks that there should be another Ministry of Housing to return the initiative of housing construction to the government.

He wants to phase out the landlord levy and advocates the construction of 100,000 homes every year.

Klaver compliments the CDA for the plans, but still sees too little of it in the Prinsjesdag pieces.

The SP also wants Heerma to become more concrete.

According to Heerma, his party fought against the landlord levy throughout the cabinet term.

"We now have a structural discount on the levy".

He also points out that the cabinet will now come to the rescue of tenants with a small grant. 

an hour ago

Pieter Heerma from the CDA is the next speaker.

He also reflects on the impact of corona and looks ahead to the Netherlands after the corona crisis.

Heerma talks about over-the-top individualization and the cynicism that people themselves show little initiative.

He sees examples of projects where people know how to work well together at a local level.

He calls it a corporate revolution.

He believes that less policy should be imposed from above from The Hague and more from below.

Heerma, for example, believes that the nitrogen file can be broken open in this way.

Klaver, Jetten and Ouwehand, among others, wonder what this social consultation will look like, because ultimately a choice is made as to which parties are at the table.

Ouwehand points out that the model does not always work either, referring to the water boards where farmers have an important say through the secured seats.

2 hours ago

Klaver reflects on Rutte's ten-year premiership.

He acknowledges that people are telling him that the prime minister is not doing so badly.

Klaver also has compliments for the Rutte.

In particular his actions after the attack on flight MH17 can count on Klaver's appreciation.

"And he was not only the Prime Minister of Grief and Compassion, but also the Prime Minister who will continue to fight tirelessly to locate and bring to justice the perpetrators, however complicated that may be in the international context. The Prime Minister of Justice."

But there is also criticism.

According to Klaver, ten years of Rutte has also caused "deep inequality".

He thinks that the austerity policy in the previous economic crisis was the wrong choice.

According to Klaver, the prime minister's market thinking has led to today's housing shortage and to the problems surrounding teacher shortages, healthcare and the police.

2 hours ago

2 hours ago

Klaver reflects on the impact of the corona crisis and sees how people have come to the rescue.

"We have not abandoned each other."

According to Klaver, this has happened in the reception of migrants from the burned-down migrant camp Moria on the Greek island of Lesbos.

Last week, the coalition and the cabinet decided to receive 100 of the 13,000 homeless migrants.

Much too little, according to some of the opposition.

"The value of solidarity has been lost," said Klaver.

According to the GroenLinks leader, the coalition has not asked how they can help Greece and the migrants, but asked themselves how they could have avoided a political problem.

"An exchange. Political clapping."

Wilders believes that Klaver is abusing the fire and uses the incident to bring migrants to the Netherlands.

He believes that the Netherlands should not provide any help, because the fire was probably started by residents of the camp.

Klaver acknowledges that this possibility exists, but according to him that does not detract from the fact that the vast majority of the camp residents who have become homeless are not to blame and that they should be helped.

2 hours ago

The debate has resumed and the floor is up to Jesse Klaver of GroenLinks.

3 hours ago

The debate is adjourned until 3.45 pm

3 hours ago

Marijnissen (SP) wants to reflect on the current events of the day and that is the increasing corona infections, the faltering source and contact research (bco) and the stagnant test policy.

According to the SP'er, it is crucial to have the bco and testing in order, because that forms the foundation for corona control.

Only in this way can a second wave and a possible second lockdown be prevented.

Should the country have to be locked for a second time, the economic consequences will be incalculable, Marijnissen fears. 

Dijkhoff agrees with this analysis and shares the concerns about the increasing infections.

He sees that a lot depends on whether people adhere to the corona rules and that, according to the VVD member, this is related to confidence in the government's policy.

Dijkhoff sees that hard work is now being done to get the test policy in order, but does not see himself what can be done to resolve the bottlenecks.

Marijnissen also had no plans to get the capacity in order immediately.

This does not alter the fact that Marijnissen believes that six months after the outbreak of the pandemic, the cabinet should have got things in order, especially because the impression has been created that the bco and the testing policy could scale up without any problems.

4 hours ago

VVD party leader Klaas Dijkhoff spoke.

(Photo: Pro Shots)

4 hours ago

4 hours ago

Dijkhoff continues his argument with a view of how he envisions the Netherlands after the corona crisis.

The VVD leader looks back on the eighties that were carefree for him as a child.

About the nineties where he grew up as a teenager in a world that was becoming freer and richer.

With the attacks of September 11, 2001, Dijkhoff's carelessness came to an end in one fell swoop.

And just as things were getting better in the Netherlands in recent years, the corona crisis came.

"I now feel the same kind of confusion. Nobody knows exactly how things will be different," said Dijkhoff.

"I don't have a sharp picture of the future."

He sketches "an idea", as he calls it.

"In The Hague we call that a vision."

His commitment with the VVD is to focus on fair trade, a strong government and less dependence, for example when it comes to energy supplies from the Middle East and Russia.

4 hours ago

Dijkhoff and Asscher are negotiating cautiously about the extension of the support package.

The coalition does not have a majority in parliament and is dependent on the support of the opposition. 

Asscher wants the cabinet to focus on guiding people to another job.

As far as he is concerned, people who are at risk of losing their jobs should not become unemployed.

According to Asscher it will then be difficult to find a new job. 

Dijkhoff does not immediately reject the proposal and invites Asscher to quickly discuss it.

5 hours ago

50PLUS and PvdD are drawing attention to the National Investment Fund.

The cabinet wants to reserve 20 billion euros for the next four years for innovative projects that should ensure economic growth in the longer term and jobs of the future. 

To prevent the billions from the fund being used for political projects, the cabinet wants an external committee of experts to assess the proposals.

50PLUS and PvdD are skeptical, because parliament is being sidelined.

According to Esther Ouwehand (PvdD) it is precisely about political choices that have to be made.

Her criticism is supported by the Council of State and the Court of Audit, which are critical of the National Investment Fund.

5 hours ago

Klaver also returns to the investment deduction of 2 billion euros.

He fears that this amounts to a gift for the business community and recalls that the abolition of dividend tax also amounted to around 2 billion euros.

"That 2 billion is like the musical

Soldaat van Oranje

: every time you think it stops, it comes back." 

Klaver believes that this 2 billion could be better spent on a structural increase in health care salaries. 

Dijkhoff is irritated because he denounces the image that the cabinet and the coalition are led by the business community.

According to the VVD member, the plans are aimed at supporting entrepreneurs who are struggling, partly because of the corona crisis.

By preventing companies from collapsing, more people will remain employed and tax will be collected to pay for healthcare, among other things, says Dijkhoff.

5 hours ago

Dijkhoff kicks off with the corona crisis.

The VVD member reflects on what he calls a "bizarre" year.

The debate soon turns to health care wages.

SP leader Lilian Marijnissen reiterates her plea that health care salaries should be increased and returns to the opening of the debate, when the left-wing parties asked for clarification on the investment rebate of 2 billion.

Dijkhoff believes that Marijnissen makes a caricature of it and unfairly contrasts the interests of entrepreneurs with the interests of care providers.

The VVD member remains of the opinion that there should be no structural salary increase for health care, but does want to resolve the 'bottlenecks'.

A committee has been set up to map out these problems and come up with solutions.

"That sounds lame and Hague, but bottlenecks are complicated," says Dijkhoff.

He recalls that salaries have already been increased and that there will be two bonuses for health care.

5 hours ago

5 hours ago

Wilders' term is over.

Klaas Dijkhoff (VVD) is the next speaker.

5 hours ago

VVD party chairman Klaas Dijkhoff will now be given the floor by Chamber chairman Khadija Arib.

(Photo: Pro Shots)

6 hours ago

Wilders has arrived at the theme of corona.

The PVV leaders lash out at the cabinet and in particular at Corona Minister Hugo de Jonge.

Wilders is not satisfied with the shortages of test material and the problems with the source and contact research.

"There is a shortage of everything, except for Hugo de Jonge's urge to profile."

Wilders also opposes the corona law.

He thinks that the cabinet must first have "its own affairs in order".

According to him, the cabinet should not only find a solution to the shortages, but also come up with a structural salary increase for healthcare workers.

6 hours ago

Sixteen speakers will take the floor on the first day of the Political Reflections.

After Wilders it is Klaas Dijkhoff (VVD) and Jesse Klaver (GroenLinks) turn.

(Photo: Pro Shots)

6 hours ago

Asscher reports to the interruption microphone.

He wants to talk to Wilders about the voting behavior of the PVV.

According to Asscher, Wilders sets himself up as a defender of the working Dutch, but his party agrees with the VVD.

As examples Asscher cites the protection of bicycle couriers, freelancers and night workers.

Asscher: "The PVV votes with VVD against the interests of working Dutch people. You are a right-wing party on the leash of the VVD."

Wilders does not substantively address the question of why his party voted against the proposals.

He emphasizes that it was the PvdA that ruled with the VVD for four years.

6 hours ago

6 hours ago

The House has now been debating the Wilders process for an hour and the left-wing opposition parties PvdA, SP and GroenLinks are not involved in the discussion. 

Klaver ventures an interruption at the end of the block and brings the discussion around Wilders' criticism of the judicial decision back to the core: if Wilders calls the rule of law bankrupt and corrupt, he says citizens no longer need to listen to judges and the police?

"Today Wilders is carrying the entire constitutional state to the rubbish dump. Those are life-threatening statements," says Klaver.

"You say that the rule of law no longer exists. You are radicalising."

Wilders avoids the question of whether he thinks that the Dutch should still listen to judges and the police.

He repeats his plea that in his opinion it is unfair that he has been prosecuted, but not Akwasi and Minister Grapperhaus.

7 hours ago

Wilders starts his contribution with the trial where he was convicted for his Moroccan statements.

According to the PVV, his conviction is proof that the Netherlands is "corrupt".

He cites the Grapperhaus affair who himself flouted the corona measures and was not punished.

Also the fact that the Public Prosecution Service (OM) has not prosecuted Akwasi for his Zwarte Piet rulings.

"Our rule of law is bankrupt. My case has been discussed in the Council of Ministers. It is a political process."

According to Jetten and Dijkhoff go against the accusation.

They point to the separation of powers.

According to Dijkhoff, the fact that Wilders was able to defend himself in court is proof that the Netherlands is not corrupt.

Dijkhoff also discusses Wilders' position, who speaks about a Moroccan "poison" in society.

According to the VVD member, Wilders is putting away the entire Moroccan-Dutch community.

Gert-Jan Segers (CU) speaks of an "uncomfortable" moment in the debate, because Wilders is making his statements in the Lower House under the chairmanship of Khadija Arib, a Moroccan Dutchman.

"You put everyone in the same position. You shouldn't do this."

CDA party leader Pieter Heerma adds that nobody says that criminal Moroccans should not be tackled.

He points out that Moroccan Dutch also have to deal with rejections for internships, have few opportunities on the labor market and are refused in the nightlife. 

According to Wilders, Heerma sticks his head in the sand and the PVV leader refers to nuisance that Moroccan-Dutch would cause.

7 hours ago

PVV leader Geert Wilders is the first speaker of the day.

(Photo: Pro Shots)

8 hours ago

Lodewijk Asscher (PvdA) is ahead of the PVV with one point of order: before the debate can start, he wants more clarity about the plans regarding a proposal from the cabinet, the Job-related Investment Discount, which costs 2 billion euros.

Together with the SP, GroenLinks and the PVV, the PvdA wants a substantiation.

Prime Minister Rutte says that the proposal will be discussed on 5 October and that the substantiation will follow. 

The debate will not be suspended, also because the coalition parties believe that there is still ample opportunity to broach this topic at various times. 

This will make little difference to the opposition.

In any case, they managed to set the tone.

According to Asscher, who himself has made the point of order, the cabinet makes a messy impression. 

8 hours ago

The General Political Reflections have started.

Today the House of Representatives is responding to the Cabinet's Budget Day papers.

PVV leader Geert Wilders can kick off, because his party is the largest opposition party.

8 hours ago

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