THE HAGUE – In order to save support for its climate plan the Dutch government is taking flight a week before provincial elections in the Netherlands.
It is promising that climate policy costs for ordinary citizens will be reduced while businesses will have to pay more. Only at the end of April will it be clear what the promises are worth.
The sudden U-turn of Prime Minister Rutte’s cabinet follows dramatic calculations by the Central Planning Bureau. This shows that the draft climate agreement by Ed Nijpels (chairman of the Dutch Climate Council) would lead to a large burden in increased costs for citizens. People on low income are particularly in danger of being hit hard.
Now the government is promising that energy bills for citizens will be lowered next year instead and tax increases for motorists to be scrapped.
The business community, on the other hand, is promised higher energy bills. Businesses will have to pay higher carbon taxes. The government is thus meeting the demands of a large part of opposition parties in the Lower House.
Remarkably, the new plans have not yet been worked out. For example, it is not yet clear how high the carbon tax will be and what the consequences will be of the new car policies. The cabinet has moved any clarity on these promises to the end of April – after the elections.
The Central Planning Bureau warned earlier today that companies will simply pass on 80% of the imposed climate costs to consumers. The government promises will thus hit Dutch citizen all the same.