15 August 2017

Time for quicker procedures and a better system for children seeking asylum

Asylum procedures must be speeded up, and improvements effected to the ‘kinderpardon’, the system for dealing with children who have long been resident in the Netherlands but who have no legal right to be here. In making this point, SP Member of Parliament Jasper van Dijk was reacting to the deportation of the mother of three children who have already lived for nine years in the Netherlands . “This distressing deportation is the result of the fact that such long-lasting procedures are possible at all,” he said. “The children are the victims of a bad policy. This could be prevented by ensuring that families who have no right to be here are dealt with more quickly and that extended procedures with no chance of success are opposed. This would mean that something could also be done about a kinderpardon system which actually works, by giving parents who have made themselves available to be returned to their countries and the children of such parents, children who have lived here for more than five years, a residence permit.”

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14 August 2017

Beckerman: ‘Costs of climate policy must be more fairly divided’

“It’s unfair that households rather than polluting corporations are footing the bill for the climate problem,” says SP Member of Parliament in response to new figures published by the Netherlands’ Central Statistical Bureau (CBS). The figures demonstrate that of the more than €25 billion which the government received in climate taxes in 2016, two-thirds was paid by domestic users. “Of course a great deal of money has to be invested in the climate policy,” Beckerman adds, “but that must be done fairly. The corporations that cause the greatest damage to the climate are contributing relatively little, while households which are far less polluting pay a great deal more. This will result in all the will to tackle the climate problem being frittered away.”

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31 July 2017

SP’s Sadet Karabulut visits troubled Rif region of Morocco

Last week SP Member of Parliament Sadet Karabulut and National Secretary Hans van Heijningen paid a three-day working visit to Morocco. “People have been taking to the streets for almost a year now in Morocco,” explained Karabulut. “They want a fairer distribution of wealth in the country and are demanding jobs, health care, education and an end to corruption and impunity. Young and old and, for the first time, thousands of women are getting out on to the streets and calling for a better future. Many Dutch Moroccans feel involved in this protest movement and have organised solidarity actions in the Netherlands in recent months. The SP is in complete solidarity with this people’s movement.”

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28 July 2017

For the wealthy too, “simply paying your taxes must become the norm”

A special committee of the Netherlands Parliament has been investigating tax evasion by wealthy Dutch people and the constructions which enable moneys to be passed through our country. SP Member of Parliament Renske Leijten was a member of the special committee and expresses the view that, in addition to stricter regulations and improved surveillance, what’s needed is a fundamental discussion of the country’s system of taxation. Below, she speaks to Rob Janssen.

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21 July 2017

Step up the pressure on Turkey

On Wednesday I received an answer from the government to eleven questions concerning the arrest of the head of Amnesty International and nine other human rights activists in Turkey. The government condemns the arrests and is currently preparing a common response with the rest of the European Union. In the recent past, on the SP’s initiative, the government has argued in favour of suspending Turkey’s ‘pre-accession aid’, the EU’s contribution to the country as it prepares itself for eventual membership. They are now repeating this demand, so it’s both striking and disappointing that the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs is not demanding the immediate release of these prisoners.

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20 July 2017

Historic Social Housing deal in Amsterdam

Foto: Laurens Ivens

Laurens Ivens of the Socialist Party, executive member of the city council responsible for housing policy, has brokered a far-reaching affordable housing deal in Amsterdam. The deal breaks fundamentally with former neoliberal housing policies in which 70% of the Amsterdam homes are allocated to the free market. With this radical turn the City Council of Amsterdam is striving to put an end to the alarming boom in soaring commercial rents and explosively rising mortgages for home owners. 

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