The corona crisis is turning election campaigns upside down. The presentation of the election program is therefore not in a large hall full of GroenLinks supporters, but takes place during a video session by Jesse Klaver with fifty members. The party will also take a different approach in the coming months: no meet-ups with thousands of members, but a network of app groups should motivate the GroenLinks voters.
Don’t cut back now
Now that we are still in the middle of the corona crisis, according to GroenLinks, it is not the time to cut back. The party wants to invest, and puts the bill for the extra expenses with the highest incomes. Millionaires will pay more taxes on their assets and there will be a CEO tax on salaries and bonuses of more than five tons.
Anyone who loses their job due to corona will receive a crisis income if it is up to GroenLinks. For salaried employees, this is 70 percent of the last-earned salary. Self-employed persons and flex workers who are not entitled to unemployment benefits receive EUR 1050 per month.
People who earn too little to make ends meet receive an income supplement. For the lowest paid, that would mean an income improvement of about 20 percent, the party says.
The election program also has a solid green paragraph. If it is up to GroenLinks, no new motorways will be added for the time being. According to the party, more asphalt will only lead to more traffic jams. The construction of fast cycle paths should encourage cycling.
The number of wind turbines in the North Sea is being increased considerably. GroenLinks wants to issue permits for 60 gigawatts of wind turbines. By way of comparison: in 2019 the wind turbines in the North Sea only supplied 1 gigawatt of electricity.
Flying should become less attractive. “Aviation should not return to the level of before corona”, can be read in the election program. There will be a flight tax, and in Europe the Netherlands must advocate excise duties on kerosene and VAT on airline tickets.
Four days of childcare
In GroenLinks’ plans, childcare will become a public facility. All children can go there for free four days a week. That makes the childcare allowance superfluous. Out-of-school care will be completely free
For education, GroenLinks wants to make agreements about small classes. Teachers in primary education will earn the same as their colleagues in secondary education.
Earlier this week, GroenLinks already launched the plan to give each 18-year-old a starting capital of 10,000 euros. That costs two billion euros a year, money that must be raised by taxing millionaires more heavily. The plan was immediately criticized. Economist Piketty emailed Klaver that he thinks it’s a good idea. As far as he is concerned, there is still room for improvement, and millionaires could be hit more heavily as they own more.
GroenLinks wants to get rid of the free market operation in the rental sector. The government will determine the maximum rent for the vast majority of rented houses. According to a careful calculation by the party itself, this saves most people with a rented house hundreds of euros per month in rent.
Klaver leaves no secret to the fact that he wants to become the largest with GroenLinks. When asked whether he aspires to succeed Rutte in the Torentje, he said earlier this week: “Even if you ask the question a hundred times: the answer is yes.”
There is still a long way to go to become the largest. In the Peilingwijzer GroenLinks stands at 12 to 16 seats.