Leaders of the VVD, D66, PVV, SP, Party for the Animals and BBB parties agree that the housing shortage must be addressed, and overburdened informal caregivers and people with limited budgets must be better helped. But opinions differ widely about the best approach to addressing these problems.
This became clear during the second RTL election debate, held in an Amsterdam hotel. The leaders of the New Social Contract Party, GroenLinks-PvdA, Umzigt and Timmermans had canceled the programme. The six party leaders present received questions from a number of guests from the public about housing, health care, and the wallet.
On the first issue, the housing shortage, all parties said more needed to be built. D66 sees the solution mainly in smarter, taller buildings and “an extra street in every city or village”. The Freedom Party said fewer immigrants should be accepted.
BBB hopes to make better use of existing housing stock, for example by converting offices. The VVD believes that scrapping idle rules could help, and both the Socialist Party and the Animal Party want the government to intervene more forcefully and not leave housing construction to the free market.
The topic of care was addressed by a woman caring for her mother who has dementia. This informal care is difficult and her plea for help and good accommodation in a nearby care home was understood by all parties present. PVV, SP and BBB said it was a shame that cuts had been made to care homes and wanted them restored as quickly as possible. SP’s plan to create a community care center has been received favorably.
VVD party leader Yesilgöz tried to explain that there will not be enough staff in the coming years to meet the growing demand for care due to the aging population. Her party hopes for “smart technologies”, which is technical support to ensure that older people are able to live at home for longer. BBB doesn’t really believe in this “robot”.
Watch some excerpts from the discussion here:
The last topic showed family fathers who earn too much to receive all kinds of support allowances, but find it difficult to make ends meet. Here too, the leaders of the six parties agreed on the need to do something about this situation.
VVD wants to cut taxes, leaving more money net. “Middle-income people are in trouble,” Yeselgoz said. The BBB has a plan to find out if a premium or tax will need to be paid on the first 30,000 euros. “But it’s just an idea,” Van der Plas added.
The BBB, but also the SP, wants to help people further, for example by increasing the national debt. The Central Planning Office has not calculated the party platform for both the BBB and SP, so it is not clear what impact the proposed plans will have. “Free beer,” Gitten Marinissen suggested.
After that, the party leaders looked at the discussion with satisfaction. The two deregistered party leaders, Omtsigt and Timmermans, were not missed.
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