A majority in the Tweede Kamer called again for 600 million euros to raise the salaries of health care workers. This time they also devised a plan to finance the raise – through a corporate income tax hike, reports NOS.
For months, parliamentarians have been calling on the cabinet to raise the salaries of health care workers. The workload in the industry was already high and has increased significantly in the coronavirus pandemic. Nurses received a bonus in the pandemic, but no structural pay increase.
The opposition party SP has teamed up with coalition party ChristenUnie for this latest proposal, including a funding plan, which received a majority support in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of the Dutch parliament.
“Recently, 80 billion euros in government support went to large companies that have helped keep companies afloat and save many jobs,” said ChristianUnie MP Mirjam Bikker. “Now we have to look away.”
“Last year we applauded en masse for the healthcare workers who played a pioneering role in the fight against the coronavirus. But there is still not enough room for wages in the healthcare sector,” said SP leader Lilian Marijektiven. “As the workload in healthcare increases.”
During the debate, both Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said they have no plans to raise health care salaries. According to Rutte, salaries in the industry have been raised several times in recent years and a caretaker’s cabinet cannot make such decisions anyway.