Finance

Billions for building roads and houses? ‘Arrange good working conditions’

Rutte-IV will allocate billions of euros in the coming years to build more houses, for the maintenance of roads and for the energy transition. “People are needed for that. Then you need attractive employment conditions. We see the opposite,” says FNV chairman Tuur Elzinga. “The sense of urgency seems to be missing.”

To tempt

“You have to tempt young people to choose professions where there is an urgent need for professionals,” he continues. There is already a threat of personnel shortages in metal and technology. “But in this sector, people have been on strike for a long time because they can’t get good working conditions.”

The FNV also advocates higher pay and staff expansion for civil servants at municipalities, provinces and government services such as the UWV and the Tax and Customs Administration. The new cabinet promises to work on a government that is reliable, subservient and close to the citizens. “But nothing is said about the employees who have to make that happen.”

Too skinny

The FNV also finds the increase in the minimum wage – which will increase by 7.5 percent in the cabinet plans – too meager. According to the union, this should have happened much earlier and it is ‘completely insufficient’ to catch up and seriously reduce poverty.

In recent weeks, there has also been a lot of criticism of the new cabinet’s intention to raise the minimum wage but not the AOW. Elzinga is clear about that: “That is unacceptable.” The union believes that pensioners should also improve in the coming years.

Purchasing power

Purchasing power is in any case a concern for the union. It will hardly increase in the coming years. The FNV calls on the cabinet to do something about this by lowering the tax for ordinary employees and taxing large assets more heavily.

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