August 13, 2022

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Senate support for AOW's measure in coalition agreement uncertain

Senate support for AOW’s measure in coalition agreement uncertain

Party leaders Lillian Blumen and Joost Erdmann say PvdA and JA21 oppose ‘separation’ of AOW news hour. This jeopardizes the procedure of the alliance agreement.

The PvdA and JA21 play an important role in the opposition, because they can help the coalition parties get a majority in the Senate into their own hands. Coalition parties have 32 seats there, six of which are too few to reach a majority. Without support from JA21 (seven seats), PvdA (six seats), or from GroenLinks, in which the latter party participates, the chance of the measure passing in the Senate is small.

Three billion a year

The AOW chapter is about gradually increasing the minimum wage by 7.5 percent. Which also increases the level of benefits, because it is linked to the level of the minimum wage. The law currently states that in addition to entitlement, the AOW must also be increased by the same amount as the minimum wage. But the government wants to get rid of that.

By separating the most expensive benefit, the AOW, the government hopes to reduce costs. “This saves the state treasury more than three billion euros annually,” says economist Matijs Baumann. “This is about the same amount that the government will spend additionally on defense.”

no crumbs

However, PvdA and JA21 would not support this procedure. “People who have worked so hard for our security, work that we now find indispensable, will not benefit from this plan if the minimum wage goes up,” Blumen says. “I think this is the ax for the root of solidarity. I think it’s unfair to throw away billions and at the same time leave pensioners with the elderly with a constantly empty wallet.”

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Also for the JA21 leader, approval of the measure is non-negotiable in principle. “People who have worked hard all their lives, are married with a small pension, lose about a thousand euros a year. These are the people who cannot do anything about their positions, because they have already stopped working and depend on their pension. “

Only with very large commitments, says Erdmans, is the door open for JA21. “If the introduction of the strict Danish immigration form were put on the table, we could talk. But we wouldn’t do it for a few crumbs. I don’t expect anything like that to come to us.”

Moving to the future

Political correspondent Arjan Norlander says there is a good chance that the lack of support from the opposition will become a problem for more issues from the coalition agreement. “In order not to get into a fight amongst themselves, the government has put many plans that cost a lot of money on the table, but it has not been allowed to cause all kinds of annoying tax increases. That is why the bill is largely to the future.”

“But this also means that if the opposition parties have desires, this will immediately cost money that cannot be transferred to the future. This applies to the separation of the state pension, but also, for example, the waiver of the gas contract with Germany, since previously discussed about “.

Unrest also erupted among supporters of the coalition parties over the plan. On Monday, the networks of seniors from VVD, CDA and D66 sent an angry letter to their parliamentary groups asking for the measure to be rescinded.

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