Since the Dutch election marketing campaign acquired underway, there was a buzzword gaining momentum: “Bestaanszekerheid”, which might be translated as ‘livelihood safety’.
The Dutch go to the polls on Wednesday 22 November, following the resignation of prime minister Mark Rutte in July after 13 years in workplace and the collapse of his coalition authorities over how one can deal with migration.
In the wake of the a number of crises Europe has confronted, most notably the Covid-19 pandemic and the struggle in Ukraine, rising costs for every thing from vitality to meals and housing are making it tougher for residents to make ends meet.
Despite its increased than common revenue, the Netherlands is not any exception, and so the value of residing disaster is at the forefront of political events’ and commerce unions’ messages.
“What is necessary and constructive [in this elections] is that many extra political events, and never solely the leftwing events, are conscious of the reality that individuals’s social welfare is beneath menace,” Patrick Fey, member of the board of the CNV Trade Union Federation, instructed EUobserver.
Household electrical energy costs in the EU elevated the most in the Netherlands (by a staggering 953 percent) over the first six months of 2023.
Earlier this yr, the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB) estimated that over a million individuals will dwell in poverty subsequent yr, if no authorities motion is taken.
“The new authorities should give you new coverage in a short time to make sure that these individuals would not have to decide on between meals on the desk or heating their dwelling,” Dutch MEP Agnes Jongerius (S&D/Partij van de Arbeid) instructed EUobserver.
And to this point, regardless of some will increase, wages in the Netherlands haven’t stored tempo with the increased value of residing.
The gross hourly minimal wage in the Netherlands is €12.12 for a 38-hour week and €12.79 for a 36-hour week.
Compared to the 60 p.c of the median wage set by the EU’s minimal wage directive, a Dutch employee ought to as an alternative be incomes €16 per hour.
In this context of excessive inflation, income and wealth should also play a role in the election, says the largest Federation of Dutch Trade Unions (FNV), which is demanding that income and wealth be taxed a minimum of as a lot as labour.
“If you earn a living with cash, you ought to be taxed as closely as when you find yourself earning money along with your work,” Bas van Weegberg, government nationwide board member of FNV, instructed EUobserver.
Add to this the problem of discovering inexpensive lodging in the nation and the image turns into bleak.
“A home is a main necessity,” Jongerius stated. “We have to take again management of our housing market and ensure everybody has entry to inexpensive housing”.
However, housing, a problem that impacts the younger generations the most, will not be a precedence for all political events in the Netherlands.
Public funding beneath strain
“What we have seen is that our public companies have had a tough time throughout the neoliberal cupboards and the final decade of austerity,” van Weegberg stated.
For public companies resembling training and healthcare, the mantra of ‘doing extra with much less’ is not legitimate, given the scarcity of employees in these sectors and the future demographic challenges of a shrinking working-age inhabitants and an ageing society.
Dutch commerce unions are calling for structural investments and adjustments with a purpose to appeal to and retain the required employees and finally present a superb high quality service to the taxpayer.
Such advanced and urgent points require a long-term perspective that has been lacking, the unions stress.
“Work strain and labour market shortages can’t be solved with arbitrary devices resembling cuts, privatisation and effectivity enhancements,” in line with a letter by the CNV despatched to the leaders of all political events in September.
High workloads or labour shortages aren’t distinctive to the public sector. The image is analogous in varied professions that don’t provide good salaries and contracts, work-life steadiness or profession prospects.
And with environmental targets on Europe’s roadmap for the coming years, policymakers are additionally dealing with new challenges, as seen in recent times with the Dutch farmers’ protests.