SP leader Emile Roemer is urging the government to put a stop to tax agreements with multinationals, as long as uncertainty exists as to whether all of laws are being adhered to. “Everyone has to pay normal tax in the Netherlands, apart apparently from the multinationals,” he says. “For them the red carpet’s rolled out and agreements are made so that they can pay the least tax possible. Because of this the Netherlands is missing out on at least €5.5 billion. That money could enable us to eliminate the need to pay part of their health care costs at point of care and increase people’s wages. No more sweetheart deals: put people before multinationals.”
SP leader Emile Roemer addressed Parliament today, giving a detailed critique of the new government’s policies and continuing to outline those of the SP and the left opposition. Naturally enough most of this critique concerned domestic policies, but Roemer also touched upon a number of matters with an international dimension.
SP leader Emile Roemer outlines the left opposition’s alternatives to the new government’s policies.
Politics is a matter of making choices. The SP’s choices are clear. We choose people. Cooperation, in place of everyone for his- or herself. For a country in which the government is at your side, with health care which doesn’t require you to pay a personal contribution, for higher wages and affordable housing.
The SP is delighted that the process leading to a binding UN treaty on human rights and corporations has taken a further major step forward. This is despite repeated European Union attempts to frustrate progress, and despite also a remarkable lack of support on the part of the Netherlands.
Can we imagine it? That during a war in our neighbouring countries more than six million Germans or Belgians would be admitted? It’s an enormous number, but one comparable to what Lebanon is doing in the here and now. With four million inhabitants, the country has taken in one-and-a-half million refugees. And it is coming apart at the seams.
It has been known for some time that expected profits and economic growth figures are not the only way to happiness for all. Next week we will have the chance to make progress towards a UN treaty which will make it obligatory for corporations to respect human rights. As things stand European governments do not seem inclined to play a glittering role in this. That’s a pity, because a great deal is at stake.
Fraud and corruption, it seems to be in the genes of KPMG. Even the construction of their own headquarters in Amstelveen was a fraudulent affair, one that involved millions of euros. KPMG offers its clients customised work. That can be messing with the books, such as with the Vestia housing corporation, or misleading numbers at the now bankrupt, Imtech; Foreign bribes (Ballast Nedam) and the payment of bribes (SBM Offshore) or large-scale fraud (as in Weyl meat processor).
The European Parliament voted today on the report by PvdA (Dutch Labour Party) MEP Agnes Jongerius on the reform of the detached workers directive. Describing himself as “disappointed”, SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong said “I value enormously the efforts made by Agnes Jongerius and know that she fought hard to get a good result, but I also see missed opportunities. Worst of all is the fact that equal pay for equal work will come in only after two years in which a worker is posted abroad by his or her firm, while the average length of such ‘detachment’ is only four months. This is disappointing. I also see it as bad that the possibility exists to draw up separate rules for lorry drivers, which doesn’t bode well.”
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