THE HAGUE – The Rutte III government is more popular than ever, with 47 percent of Dutch saying they are satisfied with the VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie coalition, according to a poll by I&O Research. That is the highest satisfaction percentage the government had since it took office in October 2017. At the start of this year, only 33 percent of Dutch were satisfied with Rutte III, AD reports.
The researchers attribute the spike in popularity to the Rutte III government recently reaching agreements on pensions and climate. “The rise is spectacular”, researcher Peter Kanne said to the newspaper. “In February it still seemed as if the cabinet was not doing anything. An agreement on pensions just would not come and there was a lot of opposition to radical climate measures. Now suddenly there are two big agreements. Many Dutch people are happy that the country is being governed.”
The pension agreement in particular was welcomed. “The fact that FNV members were allowed to cast their vote probably increased support for the agreement”, Kanne said. Though only a third of employees are currently confident that they will receive sufficient pension.
The Dutch are a bit more divided on the Climate Agreement, with 34 percent being positive about it and 26 percent negative. Despite this, almost all climate measures can count on support, according to Kanne. “The government successfully managed to take the sharp edges off the original agreement”, he said to AD. The new CO2 tax for companies is most popular. The combined measure of increasing gas tax and lowering electricity tax is less popular.
On the downside, only 16 percent of Dutch believe that climate measures will be affordable to everyone. And only 14 percent think that the target set in Paris, a 49 percent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030 compared to 1990, will be achieved.
Few Dutch know about Home Affairs Minister Kasja Ollongren’s plans for democratic renewal. And many Dutch want to be able to elect their mayor and want a binding referendum – two measures the government is not implementing.
The I&O Research poll shows that the VVD is still the most popular party in the Netherlands, followed by populist FvD.