RTL Election debate: what will the party leaders do differently than Rutte?
After thirteen years of Mark Rutte, a new Prime Minister will arrive in the Tower. How do Dilan Yesilgöz (VVD), Frans Timmermans (GL-PvdA) and Pieter Omtzigt (NSC) view leadership, is the last question of the RTL Election Debate.
When asked whether he will miss Rutte: “Would you ask me first?” he responds laughing. “I think it is good that there is a new leader after such a long time. What we will do differently is admit sooner that something goes wrong. But undoubtedly things will go wrong for us too. I will miss his optimism.”
Timmermans will also miss Rutte’s optimism: “Always finding a solution in difficult times. I would also like to do that, but with a very different policy.” In a European context, the Netherlands increasingly has to fend for itself, he says. “Because after the next American elections, Trump could be president again and then that country would be less willing to help internationally.”
Yesilgoz: “A lot of great things have been done in the past thirteen years. Things have also not gone well and I am learning from that. But I want to look ahead.” She wants to take a closer look at how policy works out for people and, if that does not go well, adjust the policy sooner.
VVD and NSC: age of children for family reunification from 25 to 18 years
A question in the RTL Election Debate is what the party leaders want with migration. Yesilgoz (VVD) thinks it is cheap to name a number. “The number of asylum migrants must be reduced, but it is about the measures, not a number.”
The NSC party program states that the party wants to accommodate a maximum of 50,000 asylum seekers per year. “That is a guideline number,” says Omtzigt. You have to organize your measures accordingly, but if something like that happens in Ukraine then that is an extraordinary circumstance, then you have to want to accommodate more refugees.” Timmermans (GL-PvdA) accuses the VVD that the party “wants to tear families apart.” ” by being stricter on family reunification.
Yesilgoz says that the Netherlands must adhere to international rules on family reunification, but that stricter requirements are possible. “We want to limit family reunification to children aged 18, now it is up to 25.” She wants to take into account the reason why someone fled. “Is that a personal circumstance, someone is being persecuted, or is that war? In the latter case you look at it differently.”
Omtzigt agrees to lower the age of children eligible for family reunification from 25 to 18 years. “Our neighboring country Germany also does that. We are not doing anything strange about that,” he says.
Timmermans calls opposing family reunification “bullying” of asylum seekers. “I think it is good that the Christian Union said in this cabinet: ‘we are not participating in that’.” He believes that the share of asylum seekers is only a small part of the total migration, including labor migration.
To ‘prime minister’s question’ Omtzigt says: when I’m out I will tell you
The RTL Election Debate has started with the question of who wants to become Prime Minister.
Party leader Pieter Omtzigt (NSC) still does not want to say whether he is available for this. When asked whether he wanted to go to the Torentje, he said: “I would like to implement our election manifesto. Political relations have to change. Where I implement that is of secondary importance. I honestly did not think I would be standing here ten weeks ago. When I get out I’ll tell you.”
Dilan Yesilgoz (VVD) is ready to become prime minister, she says. “I am someone who dares to make decisions but is also honest when something is not possible. I especially want to listen to the people.”
Frans Timmermans (GL-PvdA) answers the prime minister’s question: “I would like to put the Netherlands on a different course. A Netherlands for everyone and not just for the happy few. The biggest crisis is the climate crisis, we must tackle it.”
RTL Election Debate starts in fifteen minutes
On the first episode of it RTL Election debate guests are Dilan Yesilgöz (VVD), Frans Timmermans (GL-PvdA) and Pieter Omtzigt (NSC). RTL News has invited the participants based on the most recent Peilingwijzer. The presentation is in the hands of Daphne Lammers and Fons Lambie. Debate topics include climate, migration, social security and leadership. The party leaders can also challenge each other to a one-on-one debate.
The debate will be broadcast live on RTL 4.
NOS election program at 3: higher salaries for ‘real’ healthcare workers
In the NOS op 3 program, people in their twenties and thirties ask questions about what concerns them. A question comes from a participant who has a disability. She is dependent on home care but can and wants to work. An elderly person who also needs home care was given priority in the mornings, making her unreliable for her employer, she says. How do the politicians want to solve this?
Van Baarle (Denk): “The Netherlands still does not meet the international requirements to make public transport, buildings and the like accessible to people with disabilities. And healthcare workers must be better rewarded so that the shortages are resolved.” People with disabilities should also be given a greater voice in policy, he believes.
Van Haga (BVNL): “Everyone should be able to participate. There is too much of a headache among management layers. The money must end up at the bedside.” He also believes that real healthcare workers should earn more. Eerdmans also thinks that the salary could be a bit higher. “Just like for the teachers and the police officers,” he says.
Another participant is concerned about the increasing number of stabbings. Eerdmans and Van Haga want the sentences to be increased, also for younger perpetrators, as a deterrent. Van Baarle agrees with that, but mainly wants to do something about the causes. “How does such a young ‘gassie’ even think of doing something like that? So in addition to calling for heavier punishments, we must also prevent them from turning to crime.”
Discussion about minimum wage in NOS election program on 3
The NOS op 3 election program features Joost Eerdmans (JA21), Stephan van Baarle (Denk) and Wybren van Haga (BVNL).
Eerdmans is against a further increase in the minimum wage. “Employers have to be able to afford it, otherwise they will go abroad.” Van Baarle is in favor of a significant increase, to 16 euros according to the election manifesto: “Companies have made large profits in recent years, but have not translated this into higher wages.” Van Haga keeps it at 14 euros. “We can pay for that by stopping the climate fund and by tackling the asylum problem.”
The three parties agree on whether student debt should be taken into account when applying for a mortgage: that debt should not be taken into account because it makes obtaining a mortgage difficult.
Criticism of VVD due to housing shortage
The numbers two of VVD, PVV, GL/PvdA, D66, CDA, BBB and NSC debated this morning at WNL on Sunday. VVD candidate Hermans put forward the statement ‘Solving the housing shortage requires migration restrictions’, but was mainly criticized himself.
VVD tackled hard in debate: ‘Housing shortage has been there for years, time for new management’
Marijnissen: only the new healthcare system works, the rest is sticking plasters
After Bontenbal, Lilian Marijnissen from the SP will speak Outside court. For years she has been insisting on a completely new healthcare system, without market forces, in which doctors and not health insurers determine who gets which treatment. Many experts say that it will take years before such a new system can be introduced and that it will also cost a lot of money.
Marijnissen says that the current system is expensive, for example because private investors (private equity) are now in charge of some general practices. “They only care about profit.” According to her, there are a lot of savings to be made in healthcare, but not in this system. She calls all other plans to improve care “sticking a band-aid”.
The SP is in favor of introducing a National Healthcare Fund, managed by the government, without a deductible. It looks a bit like the old health insurance fund. The plans have been in the SP’s election manifesto since 2016, but the party has lost seats in all elections since then. Marijnissen does not think there is a causal connection between those two things.
Bontenbal: newcomers make promises that cannot be kept
The CDA leader is a guest at Outside court. His party is currently losing in the polls, while parties that are also based on Christian Democratic ideas are doing much better, such as BBB and NSC. But according to Bontenbal, the CDA is the only real Christian Democratic party in the Netherlands. Moreover, the CDA has dared to introduce new people. “Other parties promise a new political culture, but then I see Timmermans and Omtzigt. These are people who have been in The Hague for a long time.” Bontenbal has only been in the House of Representatives for two years.
“The voter is adrift,” he says. Every time there is a new party that people follow. “They have to be careful not to make promises they can’t keep.” As an example, he mentions the position of NSC van Omtzigt to limit the migration balance to 50,000 people per year, while it is currently 240,000. “You can’t promise that if you don’t come up with measures to achieve it,” says Bontenbal. He finds the NSC target number ‘unbelievable’. Omtzigt also wants the Netherlands to have a veto right in the European context on asylum issues. “But then you actually make Europe less effective,” says the CDA leader.
Bontenbal thinks that migration problems should be tackled Europe-wide. Asylum seekers must be accommodated on the edges of the continent. The EU must then determine who can stay and distribute those people among the member states. Rejected asylum seekers must be sent back quickly.
Social service or service law?
The CDA has been advocating a social service obligation for young people for years. Eline Vedder, number two on the CDA list, brings up the subject again WNL on Sunday. Young people can choose different places to spend their time in service: in healthcare, at social organizations or at Defense.
BBB, NSC and GroenLinks/PvdA think it’s fine to bring young people into contact with society, but they feel little obligation. They think a voluntary year of service, or a ‘service right’ as it exists in Scandinavian countries, is a better idea. But Vedder insists: “freedom comes with obligations. We also have compulsory education in the Netherlands and my children do not agree with that every day.”
PVV: deductible in healthcare is wrong economy
Agema (PVV) makes its well-known statement that the deductible in healthcare should be abolished, because healthcare is becoming far too expensive for citizens. As a result, they no longer go to the doctor and they become sicker. “What good does it do us as a society if people walk around with pressure on their chest?” She thinks it is “wrong economy”.
Agema is alone in her opinion, because VVD, D66 and CDA point out that abolition will cost six billion euros and that we will all have to raise that money. “It does nothing to the costs and affordability of care,” says Vedder of the CDA. She wants to focus much more on prevention to prevent people from needing care. But according to Agema, abolishing the deductible is the best form of prevention.
VVD: limit migration to solve the housing crisis
The first statement at WNL on Zondag was put forward by VVD candidate Hermans: solving the housing shortage requires migration restrictions. BBB and NSC agree with her, but Lahlah (GL/PvdA) does not. According to her, too few affordable homes have been built in recent years. And that has mainly happened because public housing has been left to the market. And she blames the VVD for that.
Van Vroonhoven (NSC) and Keijzer (BBB) also think that Hermans is on the right track. In the past twelve years that the VVD served as Prime Minister, despite all kinds of promises, far too little has been done to limit migration and build additional housing, they believe.