After more than 270 days of deliberation, an agreement was finally reached on Monday afternoon among the leading parliamentary parties which will constitute Rutte’s fourth government. This marks the end of the longest government formation period on record. 🎉
After the childcare allowance scandal of last year, political reporter Ron Fresen believes that Rutte IV will be a recovery cabinet, from which we can expect “a huge amount” of spending to remedy the mistakes of yesterday, NOS reports.
Lest we forget, only 11 months ago Mr Rutte cycled down to the Royal Palace in The Hague nonchalantly eating an apple, and offered the king his resignation.
While the details of the agreement won’t be made public until Wednesday, there’s plenty of leaked information circulating already… Supposedly tackling everything from climate change and the housing shortage, to offering free childcare!
And rumour has it… they’re aiming for a cabinet comprised of 50% female ministers! ✊
What we’re hearing through the grapevine 🍇🌿
Education and family
The childcare allowance will either completely disappear or be reformed. Whatever the case, it’s expected that childcare will be made largely free.
And good news for upcoming students — the loan system in education is also under fire, and basic grants as financial support for students is in consideration. Both of which are intended to remedy rising inequality in the Netherlands.
Environment and energy
Billions of euros will reportedly be designated for spending aimed at limiting the impact of climate change. This would go to things such as subsidies for wind and solar energy for companies and private individuals, electric vehicle infrastructure, and insulation.
Additionally, they want more funding for further research into the advantages, disadvantages, and feasibility of nuclear energy, as it produces virtually no CO2 and other greenhouse gases (but let’s not forget about Fukushima & Chernobyl 😳).
The minimum wage is to be increased significantly, though no specifications have been made.
Rule of Law
Increased spending for the police, justice, and defence, with more attention to be paid to subversion, cybercrime, the rule of law and economic security.
The new government also hopes to tackle the housing crisis by allotting billions of euros for the construction of hundreds of thousands of additional homes, with priority given to first-time homeowners and seniors.
The dawn of Rutte IV 🌅
After serving as a caretaker government, the March 17 elections reinstated Rutte’s centre-right liberal People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD). This meant that a rather frail coalition of four parties: the VVD, D66 (Democrats 66), CDA (Christian Democratic Appeal) and ChristenUnie (Christian Union), needed to overcome a grave lack of confidence. Despite these challenges, the Rutte IV coalition will consist of those same four parties.
Many formerly aligned parties refused to negotiate with the others, however, this Wednesday may just mark the end of the months-long blockade. Particularly, Sigrid Kaag’s D66 refused to negotiate with the ChristenUnie up until October, when productive negotiations finally resumed.
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