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

an hour ago

VVD party leader Klaas Dijkhoff spoke.

(Photo: Pro Shots)

an hour ago

an hour 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.

an hour 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.

an hour 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.

2 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.

2 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.

2 hours ago

2 hours ago

Wilders' term is over.

Klaas Dijkhoff (VVD) is the next speaker.

2 hours ago

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

(Photo: Pro Shots)

3 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.

3 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)

3 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.

3 hours ago

3 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.

4 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.

4 hours ago

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

(Photo: Pro Shots)

5 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. 

5 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.

5 hours ago

Back up