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One day to go, and leaks about the new cabinet’s plans keep on coming

THE NETHERLANDS. One day before the official presentation of the new government’s plans, the Dutch newspapers are again full of leaks about elements of the coalition agreement.

Dividend tax

Broadcaster NOS reports that the new cabinet plans to scrap the 15% tax paid by firms on the dividends they pay out to shareholders in an effort to make the Netherlands more attractive to foreign firms.

The decision will cost €1.4bn a year but experts told the broadcaster this impact will largely be one of cutting red tape. In addition, other measures the new cabinet plans to impose on industry will lead to a slight increase in corporate costs, NOS said.

These include a carbon tax on CO2 emissions and an extra tax on royalties and interest. The new cabinet also plans to take further steps to reduce the number of letter box companies based in the Netherlands, the broadcaster said.

Prostitution

The NRC says the new cabinet plans to bring in a ban on pimping and to introduce a licencing system for prostitutes. More money is also being allocated to help prostitutes who want to stop.

The aim is to reduce exploitation within the sex industry and combat forced prostitution, a particular wish of the minor Christian party ChristenUnie which is part of the new four-party coalition.

The ban on pimping was lifted in 2000 at the same time as brothels were legalised.

Gender neutrality

Broadcaster NOS said on Sunday that the government is to stop asking people to fill in their sex on official forms when not relevant and to extend anti-discrimination legislation to include handicaps and sexual orientation.

The ChristenUnie negotiation team have agreed to this in return for the ban on pimping, NOS said.

Self-employment

The new cabinet has no plans to bring in compulsory social insurance for freelancers but will take action to stop people working for rates which are too low, according to RTL Nieuws.

Meal delivery workers, cleaners and other self-employed people will have to earn a minimum fee of between €15 and €18 an hour in order to be classed as freelancers.

The new cabinet also plans to ensure companies pay people employed via payrolling companies earn the same amount as staffers on fixed contracts. The aim is to stop firms undercutting regular salaries and agreements on working conditions.

Refugees

Refugees will only be given residency permits for three years, rather than five years as at present, according to the Telegraaf.

The change will bring Dutch legislation back into line with European regulations, the paper said.

After three years, refugees who cannot go home will be given a two-year extension, after which they can apply for permanent residency.

Qualifications

Youngsters without any form of qualification which will help them get a job will have to stay in education until the age of 21, according to the AD on Monday.

That means either a havo or vwo diploma from secondary school or an mbo level 2 diploma from a trade school, the paper said.

However, there is a good chance that the plan might fall foul of the Council of State – the government’s highest advisory board and administrative court – which has already warned that there are legal objections to such an increase, the paper points out.

This article appeared first on dutchnews.nl

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