Response from De Unie on the 2020 bill of millions
17 September 2019
"A round of purchasing power does not remove uncertainty"
“Giving every Dutch person a few extra euros is not a solution to the challenges facing our society. The real problem is the uncertainty about the financial ups and downs that await the Dutch in the coming period. A round of purchasing power does not remove that uncertainty ”.
That says Reinier Castelein, chairman of vakbond De Unie in response to the government's 2020 Budget Memorandum. De Unie investigated how people view taxes and the effect on their spending. The Dutch are most grumpy about the unpredictability of their taxes and other costs. Time and again, additional costs from the government are on their plates unannounced. Moreover, many Dutch people have been losing purchasing power for years due to the lag in pension indexations. Now even massive discounts are imminent. That makes the rising costs extra bitter.
The government's purchasing power pictures are no more than abstract calculations. According to De Unie no one benefits. “You could say that DNB determines what their purchasing power is for pensioners. And that local authorities such as municipalities and provinces and water boards also take a hold of the wallets without the cabinet being able to stop this, ”says Castelein. “It's nice to get one euro more from the cabinet, but if decentralized authorities such as the province, the water board and the municipality and also the pension fund take two away from you, you won't get any better. Our research showed the disastrous consequences of decentralizing government policy. Each municipality and each province makes its own policy and fills the gaps in the budget in a different way. In our country, for example, equal cases are no longer treated equally, ”says Castelein.
“Mona Keijzer's fake news show about energy costs has not yet been forgotten. In its last full year of government, this cabinet should fully focus on restoring confidence and should therefore steer much more centrally. Whether it concerns building fees, informal care, CO2 policy or debt restructuring: every municipality now does something ”, says the chairman of De Unie.
A more insecure labor market
Apart from the bigger financial picture, a lot will change on the labor market in 2020. The WAB will come into effect next year. The Balanced Labor Market Act. The difference between permanent and flexible work is reduced, which in fact means that permanent employees can be fired more quickly. The transition payment will be reduced and the dismissal law will be relaxed. But as an employee you do not see making flexible labor more expensive in your salary. “Now that things are going well economically, this all seems to be happening without much pain. The next economic setback will soon rain redundancies. If the economy turns, this legislation, combined with uncontrolled tax increases, could explode in the face of the middle groups. ” According to Reinier Castelein.
Invest in employees and the Netherlands will progress
Now that the interest rate on treasury bonds is negative, and government finances are in order, the cabinet must invest structurally across the board in the development of employees, so that they are assured of work, have a decent income and can reach the finish line in good health. In addition, considerable efforts must be made to reduce taxation, also locally.
Invest in people development
De Unie is based on a normal contract, whereby professionals have security of work and income. This also includes lifelong development as an integral part. The trade union where De Unie affiliated with this position has adopted. “The labor shortage is increasing, in the business world, in healthcare, education and the police. This creates a high workload and is a problem for society as a whole. Without good people, things just get stuck. The cabinet can no longer sit back and the negative interest on treasury bills, low government debt and a surplus for years now show that the time for investment has come. Therefore invest now directly and structurally: in professionals, in wages and recognition, in people who are on the sidelines, in employees of all ages ”, says VCP chairman Nic van Holstein.
The proposed STAP scheme, whereby everyone has the opportunity to follow the most suitable training for themselves, is a small step in the right direction and a small part in the big picture of lifelong development. De Unie believes, however, that this scheme does not do justice to the high costs and time required for development. That is why we ask the VCP to enter into a discussion with the cabinet about the scheme; the new scheme must provide sufficient facilitation for all professionals, regardless of the duration and price of training.
Workload and professional space
Furthermore, will De Unie via the VCP, focus on measures that relieve the workload of employees. De Unie sees work pressure and cases of illness such as burnout as an ever-increasing problem. It is not only a problem for the employee himself, but also for the professional of tomorrow and the workplace as a whole. Burnout complaints are even more common among young professionals, which means that the problem will only increase in the future.