News February 2013

21 February 2013

Right holds out against exploitation effective control of exploitation of workers

The Internal Market Committee of the European Parliament today voted on the enforcement of the Posted Workers’ Directive. This directive concerns, amongst other things, the rights of workers from within the European Union working in other member states, including of course the Netherlands. 'The vote was very disappointing,’ says SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong. ‘When it comes to the principle of equal pay for equal work, the right is opposed to any effective control. While the goal should be to improve these controls, we now see a text rolled out that actually limits the monitoring possibilities of the labour inspectorates. We’re taking a step back in time.’

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19 February 2013

Tax Haven Netherlands: Merkies demands answers

SP Member of Parliament Arnold Merkies has asked Finance Secretary Frans Weekers for an explanation of why he wants a recent motion, originally proposed by the hard right PVV but which won the backing of a parliamentary majority, amended to remove the words ‘tax haven’ used to describe the Netherlands. The SP spokesman on financial and economic affairs wants to know on what grounds the Secretary of State rejects the idea that the Netherlands can be labelled a tax haven when thousands of firms are currently evading their taxes registering in the country.

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16 February 2013

Drinking water isn’t a commodity

Under pressure from the European Commission a debate on water privatisation has broken out in Europe. SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong, commenting on the development, says: ‘For the Netherlands there is no direct threat, as in the European Parliament exceptions have been established so that water privatisation need not take place in our country. But we have to remain alert because the Commission would really like to carry out its misbegotten privatisation plans here too.’

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14 February 2013

SP supports phased plan for a nuclear weapons-free Netherlands

SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel together with other MPs received a report containing a phased plan for a nuclear weapons- free Netherlands. The report was produced by peace group IKV Pax Christi. 'The presence of American nuclear weapons on the airforce base at Volkel is neither confirmed nor denied by the government, but it’s an open secret,’ says Van Bommel. ‘It has been discussed repeatedly in Parliament. It’s high time that now at last for once action followed all these words. The SP fully supports the phased plan.’

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14 February 2013

What was the Netherlands’ role in the CIA terror flights?

Last week saw published the report by the Open Society, 'Globalizing Torture'. The report concerns the locking up, transportation and torture – under the authority of the CIA - of suspected terrorists. In it twenty-three European countries are accused of joint responsibility for the Americans’ abuses of human rights. It says only that the Netherlands denies any involvement, but aid to these illegal CIA practices was almost certainly given.

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12 February 2013

SP supports OECD call for global action plan against tax evasion

In a study published today by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the organisation expresses serious concerns over the massive increase in tax evasion by major corporations. SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong says that ‘the study shows that two thirds of foreign investments make use of special financial instruments, such as box number companies. The OECD recognises that this sort of practice is becoming an ever greater problem. Big firms have succeeded in so doing in bringing their tax bill down to as low as 5%, while small and medium-sized enterprises are paying an average 30%. Individual taxpayers are being put at a disadvantage by this because they are also having to pay ever increasing taxes.’

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