Social agreement divides opinions
By The Holland Times Mon. 15 April 2013
The social agreement reached between the government and employers' unions on Friday has led to mixed reactions in the Dutch political landscape.
Many critics of the deal claim that it simply puts off planned reforms until 2016, thereby not solving anything but rather delaying the inevitable. In particular, reforms to the redundancy law and unemployment benefit will need to be addressed later.
Opposition politicians have been vocal in their doubts, with D66 leader Alexander Pechtold asking, " How many jobs will this cost, how much extra tax will we have to pay and what is its impact on the government’s spending plans?" CDA leader Sybrand Buma raised questions of his own, "I have many questions about what the VVD and Labour party will actually do with the deal," he is quoted as saying. He added that he feels, "the cabinet has left running the country to the unions and employers."
Meanwhile, trade union FNV has welcomed the deal with 83 percent of members voting for it on Saturday. "It is good to know that the vast majority of our members supported this social agreement," FNV chairman Ton Heerts told de Volkskrant.
Trade association UNETO-VNI also welcomed the deal. "It is good that entrepreneurs in the electrical trade and technical retailers now know where they stand," said Chairman Titia Siertsema. "In the difficult market situation at the moment this is very important. A number of cuts are removed from the table and this will hopefully provide more scope from investment."
(Photo: Minister-president Rutte)