Criminalisation of Illegal Stay Dropped
THE HAGUE, 01/04/14 - Staying illegally in the Netherlands will not become a punishable offence after all, Labour (PvdA) and the conservatives (VVD) agreed Tuesday.
Criminalisation of illegality had been agreed under the coalition accord, but led to much resistance within the PvdA. “The proposal lay like a stone in our stomach,” according to party leader Diederik Samsom.
In exchange for the withdrawal of the plan, the PvdA has conceded to the VVD that the work tax discount will go up for incomes of between 40,000 and 110,000 euros. This will amount to a gain of 300 euros per working person per year.
The work discount is a general discount on income tax. The relief will cost the cabinet 500 million euros. This will be covered by an extra cut in the budget for 2015, still under negotiation.
Samsom however expects that an extra cut will not be necessary. He is anticipating a windfall due to the reviving economy. If cuts are still needed after all, this will not be on Security, Defence or Infrastructure
"That the criminalisation should be dropped was only a question of time,” was centre-left D66 leader Alexander Pechtold’s reaction. Party for Freedom (PVV) leader Geert Wilders spoke of a “cowardly bowing” to the PvdA by VVD. “If you are illegal, you are welcome in the Netherlands."