Worldlog Week 23 – 2012
The Lower House focused this week on the Kunduz Accord by three parties that offered our conservative government passive support in exchange for the opportunity to govern. We think the Kunduz Accord is nothing more than the old Catshuis Accord in green wrapping paper. It sounds good to discuss restructurings and cut-backs, but let's not forget they're also discussing imposing severe new taxes. The taxes are on the wrong thing, scattershot, and are insufficiently explained.
They, for example, invented a train tax. In the Netherlands, people who travel between their homes and their places of work can claim their travel expenses back from their employer without taxes being levied. But the plan is now to tax these travel expenses, which is a slap in the face to train commuters. In the Netherlands, those who travel by train have for years have allowed themselves to be transported in overcrowded carriages like docile sheep. They've simply accepted train company's 'apologies for the inconvenience' when trains break down, when they're delayed or experience signalling and computer failures. They kept travelling by train because they thought they were doing some good and did not begrudge the inconvenience. And now they have to pay for their good behaviour. The Kunduz coalition says people should just move house. This shows just how out of touch with reality they are as the housing market in the Netherlands is entirely locked down. That is why I tabled a motion in which I ask the government to scrap this train tax. They will vote on Tuesday 5 June.
On 9 June, C.R.E.L. www.crel.fr (Club de Reconnaissance et d’Entraide aux Lévriers), will hold a large demonstration in Strasbourg against hunting with galgo dogs and the torture that the results. Support this French organisation that works to improve the living conditions of these much maligned dogs by signing the petition.
Last week saw the start of the Bilderberg Group conference in Spain. This group contains the 'power set' from around the globe who have agreements amongst themselves, particularly in the political and economic areas. There is a complete lack of transparency over what is discussed in these meetings. We think the democratic decision-making process could be improved and transparency is essential here. Politics needs to be practised in public because popular representation cannot control these secret meetings. That's why I've collected all the questions on Twitter about the Dutch delegation to the Bilderberg conference and sent them to the Prime Minister!
Have a great week! Marianne