THE NETHERLANDS – D66 leader Rob Jetten has made a plea for an increase in the asset tax paid by the Netherlands’ millionaires, while saying the tax on low savings should go down. Taxes on assets and the transfer of assets has been cut continually over the past few decades, Jetten said in a speech in The Hague.
At the same time people who have struggled to put some money aside are faced with negligible interest rates, he said. Wealthy parents are able to give their children up to €100,000 tax free to help them buy a house, giving them ‘a new advantage’ even though this has nothing to do with ‘rewarding performance,’ he said.
D66 has always backed a progressive tax system in which the tax increases the more assets someone has. The Dutch system currently has an upper tax rate of 51.75% on income over €68,000. RTL commentator Frits Wester said that Jetten was using the speech to shape his view of the party after taking over the leadership from Alexander Pechtold last year.
The speech did not include a lot of new ideas, but that would have not been a good move so close to an election, Wester said. ‘We already know that the first election under his leadership is going to be disappointing,’ Wester said, referring to the party’s poor performance in the opinion polls.
‘If he really wants to make changes, it is more sensible to work slowly towards them, so that this month’s election losses will not be seen as a rejection of any new plans.’