Welcome to this live blog on the second day of the General Political Reflections.
My name is Edo van der Goot and I will keep you informed of the latest developments here all day.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte answers the questions asked yesterday about the cabinet plans for next year.
Live: House of Representatives debates at General Discussions
6 minutes ago
Then the corona virus.
The figures are deteriorating rapidly: more infections and more hospital admissions.
Belgium and Germany have put the provinces of North Holland and South Holland on code red.
"We must prevent a second wave," says Rutte.
That is why new measures are being taken, which will be explained by the cabinet on Friday.
Initially, a press conference was scheduled for Tuesday.
These will be regional measures.
"It is time to turn the tide," said the prime minister.
Discussions are currently underway with the various security regions.
6 minutes ago
9 minutes ago
"Mark is Mark and Geert is Geert", Rutte tells Wilders, when the prime minister makes an attempt to define the Netherlands.
Wilders also thinks that the Netherlands is "a fantastic country", only he calls Rutte "a terrible prime minister".
There is poverty, pensions are not being increased and agreements have been made to stimulate the economies in the EU with a sizeable recovery fund of 750 billion euros, part of which is donations.
"That is not the Netherlands of the PVV", says Wilders.
Rutte replies that he "also wants to take responsibility in difficult times".
The prime minister does not yet know what will happen in the future.
Nor whether he wants to become the VVD leader again at all.
17 minutes ago
Of course, not everyone intends for a debate to proceed in harmony.
Opposition leader Geert Wilders (PVV) is strongly critical of Rutte's policy, who has been at the helm for ten years in three different cabinets.
"You have made a mess of it over the past ten years," Wilders summarizes that period.
"Not everything has been done perfectly", Rutte replies.
"But I would still like to look with some leniency at the previous cabinets, of which Wilders himself was a part of the first two years."
The PVV tolerated from the House the first Rutte cabinet with the VVD and the CDA.
21 minutes ago
Prime Minister Rutte has started to answer.
He has some introductory words in which he looks back on Budget Day last Tuesday.
It was logically empty in the church during the king's speech from the throne, normally delivered in a crowded Knight's Hall.
"In any case, the new normal should not become a permanent normal", says Rutte.
What will not change, Rutte expects, is that there will be "fierce and firm" debates during the APB.
"Because there are plenty of problems to solve."
But despite "these difficult" times, Rutte sees that the various parties, opposition and coalition, want to resolve this issue together.
"We will not agree on everything, but we will answer the questions in the atmosphere of cooperation. The sensible compromise in which our country moves forward."
yesterday at 10:45 PM
We have arrived at the smaller groups.
The PvdD asks the cabinet to stop being surprised.
Esther Ouwehand is referring to the corona pandemic that could have been foreseen.
Ouwehand points to the warnings that have been given for the danger that viruses can spread from animals to humans.
This has happened before in the Netherlands with q fever, and with large-scale bio-industry that danger has not passed.
yesterday at 9:59 PM
The input of CristenUnie leader Gert-Jan Segers puts the magnifying glass on liberalism.
(Photo: Pro Shots)
yesterday at 9:59 PM
yesterday at 9:55 PM
ChristenUnie leader Gert-Jan Segers takes over.
His input puts the magnifying glass on liberalism.
According to Segers, the corona crisis has shown that humans are not 'homo economicus' and that government intervention has proved necessary to support entrepreneurs and employees during the corona crisis.
Segers also sees that the crisis has exposed fault lines in society: differences between people with and without debts, the Randstad and the region, and the young and the elderly.
He hopes that economic growth will no longer be used as a measure of how well we measure how well the country is doing.
yesterday at 9:33 PM
Asscher is in a position to be able to negotiate budget plans with the cabinet.
The coalition parties do not have a majority in parliament and they depend on the opposition for support.
Prime Minister Rutte invited, among others, the PvdA on Tuesday to support the cabinet plans.
Asscher does not say 'no' in advance, but does have requirements.
Among other things, in the area of the housing shortage, care support packages are needed more.
"The cabinet does too little. Don't just say you want to go to public housing, take measures now. Scrap the landlord levy."
According to Asscher, livelihood security must come first in the crisis approach.
"It has to be different."
yesterday at 9:17 PM
Asscher is the only speaker so far who stands behind the pulpit without paper and speaks completely by heart.
He draws attention to the dangers to the economy if the cabinet does not get the rising infections under control.
"The debate about the economy should be about how we fight corona."
Asscher sees "a gigantic problem" if the infections are not quickly under control.
The cabinet announces a press conference with local measures.
But Asscher notes that municipalities and the cabinet do not agree on who should announce those measures.
"It is not appropriate for the cabinet to keep passing on the hot potato to another", Asscher notes.
He denounces the actions of the cabinet where Prime Minister Rutte and Minister De Jonge have repeatedly pointed to irresponsible behavior by young people or family gatherings, while it is ultimately up to the cabinet to ensure that the virus does not flare up again.
yesterday at 8:53 PM
The debate has resumed.
Lodewijk Asscher of the PvdA has the floor.
yesterday at 7:48 PM
The debate is adjourned for a dinner break, the House continues at 8.50 pm.
yesterday at 7:38 PM
yesterday at 7:00 PM
Rob Jetten (D66) prior to his speech.
(Photo: Pro Shots)
yesterday at 6:59 PM
The next speaker is Rob Jetten (D66).
He starts with the corona crisis and looks back on the resignation of Bruno Bruins as Minister of Medical Care and PvdA member Martin van Rijn came to the rescue.
At the same time, he is concerned about the increasing corona infections.
He wonders whether the faltering test policy plays a role in non-compliance with the corona rules.
He also asks the cabinet for perspectives on how society will be organized until the time that there is a vaccine and afterwards.
"Because it will take months after the arrival of a vaccine before vaccination is rolled out."
He wants the cabinet to investigate how parts of society can be restarted with the help of quick tests.
yesterday at 6:41 PM
Marijnissen's argument about discrimination by the tax authorities provokes an interruption at Baudet about the appearance of Zwarte Piet.
He wants to know whether Marijnissen thinks that the appearance should be adjusted.
Before answering that question, Marijnissen expresses her indignation at the course of the first day of the Reflections: "We are in the middle of the biggest crisis after the Second World War and here it is in the first two hours of the debate about Akwasi, Moroccans. and now Zwarte Piet. Somewhere it is very sad that these kinds of things are being discussed, "said the SP'er who added that she is very concerned about the increasing infections.
And to get back to the question, she makes it clear that she is happy with the appearance of Zwarte Piet changing.
yesterday at 6:33 PM
Marijnissen draws attention to the fate of the victims of the childcare allowance affair.
"The tax authorities discriminated. Violation of article 1 of the constitution. Humanity has disappeared from the system. How is it possible that the parents are still waiting for compensation while 180 million euros has been released for the mink breeders."
Marijnissen wants to know when the cabinet will provide clarity to parents.
The SP'er notes that origin, color and surname in the Netherlands matter.
"We don't want a society where people are judged by color and origin and you can expect the government to set a good example."
yesterday at 6:19 PM
Marijnissen reflects on the contamination figures that have risen again today.
Like Asscher, she denounces that Minister De Jonge has delayed the debate to inform the press outside the meeting room about new measures that the cabinet will announce on Friday.
She is concerned about the faltering test policy and the faulty source and contact research.
Marijnissen believes that the cabinet should do everything it can to prevent the second wave and an economically disastrous second lockdown.
yesterday at 6:19 PM
yesterday at 6:17 PM
Lilian Marijnissen is the next speaker.
The SP'er sees that the corona crisis has resulted in other insights in politics.
Insights that she believes are closer to the Socialist Party, for example when it comes to criticism of the housing shortage or health care salaries.
She is also pleased that the cabinet is now choosing to invest in this economic crisis and not to cut spending, as in the previous crises.
yesterday at 6:03 PM
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.
yesterday at 5:33 PM
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.
yesterday at 5:04 PM
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.
yesterday at 4:18 PM
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.
yesterday at 4:18 PM
yesterday at 4:09 PM
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.
yesterday at 3:50 PM
The debate has resumed and the floor is up to Jesse Klaver of GroenLinks.
yesterday at 3:07 PM
The debate is adjourned until 3.45 pm
yesterday at 3:07 PM
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.
yesterday at 2:05 PM
VVD party leader Klaas Dijkhoff spoke.
(Photo: Pro Shots)
yesterday at 2:05 PM
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.
yesterday at 13:57
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.
yesterday at 13:33
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.
yesterday at 13:12
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.
yesterday at 12:54 PM
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.
yesterday at 12:40 PM
Wilders' term is over.
Klaas Dijkhoff (VVD) is the next speaker.
yesterday at 12:39 PM
VVD party chairman Klaas Dijkhoff will now be given the floor by Chamber chairman Khadija Arib.
(Photo: Pro Shots)
yesterday at 12:14 PM
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.
yesterday at 11:58 am
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)
yesterday at 11:58 am
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.
yesterday at 11:40 am
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.
yesterday at 10:58 AM
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.
yesterday at 10:54 AM
PVV leader Geert Wilders is the first speaker of the day.
(Photo: Pro Shots)
yesterday at 10:25 am
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.
yesterday at 10:21 am
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.