Christian and liberal parties have unveiled a coalition agreement in the Netherlands. Here are the highlights from their program. Read more
- Center-right parties in the Netherlands are due to form a coalition government.
- The four-party deal allows Mark Rutte to stay in power for four more years. Read more
Christian and liberal parties are expected to form a coalition government in the Netherlands next week.
The public broadcaster NOS has learned they are planning various tax reforms:
- Tax reform: Income tax brackets will be reduced from four to two.
- Tax relief: For the elderly and middle incomes.
- Profit tax: Will be reduced from 20 to 16 percent for small companies and from 25 to 21 percent for larger companies.
- Sales tax: The low, 6-percent value-added tax rate on basic goods will be raised to 9 percent. Standard VAT rate will remain 21 percent.
- Home mortgage interest deduction: Will be reduced to 37 percent, effectively raising taxes on especially wealthy homeowners. Read more
The four parties negotiating to form a coalition government in the Netherlands have agreed to simplify the tax code, the public broadcaster NOS reports.
The plan would reduce the number of income tax brackets from four to two. The threshold at which the top, 49.5-percent rate kicks in would be raised to €68,000.
Middle and high incomes would benefit from the changes. Low incomes would continue to pay 37 percent income tax. Read more
The Dutch aren’t sure what to make of Catalonia’s independence bid. Only in the last few days have their news media started paying attention to what’s happening in the region.
Flemish media are more interested. Maybe because they have pragmatically managed their differences with the French-speaking Walloons for decades and are wondering why the Catalans and Spanish can’t do the same? Read more
The other day, I explained that the reason Americans can’t get a European-style health-care system is not opposition from insurance companies but the fears of 155 million Americans who currently get health insurance through their employers. They worry that a single-payer system, like Britain’s, would mean higher taxes and lower-quality care.
Such fears — largely unfounded — would undoubtedly be amplified by drug companies, health providers and insurance companies if the Democrats campaigned for “Medicare for all”.
So instead of having an abstract, and probably pointless, debate about which health-care system is superior, why not look at what advocates of single-payer hope to achieve and see if this can’t be done without eliminating private insurance? Read more
Labor negotiations between employers’ organizations and trade unions have broken down in the Netherlands.
Both sides blame the other, but employers had the bigger incentive to let the talks collapse.
Without a deal, it will be up to the next government to impose reforms and the four parties negotiating to form a government are center-right. They are expected to enact more employer- than worker-friendly changes. Read more