New Social Contract (NSC) is emphatically a members’ party, in which discussions with members are also central. This is what Eddy van Hijum, chairman of the program committee, said at the presentation of the election manifesto entitled ‘Time for Recovery’ of the party of party leader Pieter Omtzigt. ‘We are happy and proud, it was an intensive process and you can only get it right once.’
The NSC party program was partly based on input from expert groups on themes such as healthcare and Europe. The party also received many emails from people in the field. 44 candidates then contributed to the development of the program, says Van Hijum. ‘That also led to changes in the text.’ Due to lack of time the program was not possible are calculated by the Central Planning Bureaubut it does contain a ‘serious financial section’.
Reciprocity between government and society
The NSC election program is primarily based on reciprocity between government and society. Omtzigt emphasizes the importance of this, because the government of the Netherlands has not functioned in recent years. ‘Problems are not solved by the current technocratic way of governing. First of all, you have to restore the administrative order. You can’t solve the problems the way they were created.’
Some concrete points from the program are the introduction of a constitutional court, better protection of whistleblowers, the introduction of a lobby register and making social security a government task. In addition, explicit attention must be paid to the housing shortage, with the focus on making essential facilities, such as energy, housing and care, affordable and accessible.
According to the election manifesto, employers must be able to think about the construction of residential areas for employees, as there used to be entire Philips and Stork neighborhoods. NSC further emphasizes the importance of sustainable migration, aiming for a net migration of 50,000. To limit labor migration, the party wants enormous resources tax benefits for expats to restrict.
NSC wants to limit study migration by using Dutch again as the standard language for most studies at universities, starting with the bachelor’s degrees. Restricting asylum migration must go hand in hand with a better return policy for rejected asylum seekers and European agreements.
Good European cooperation
In its program, NSC advocates good European cooperation, for example in the supervision of large companies and support to Ukraine. Europe must be more transparent for this. With new agreements, the Netherlands must opt-out, as Denmark also has.
The Netherlands must further commit to the NATO standard and, as far as the party is concerned, two nuclear power stations must be added. Nitrogen emissions must be reduced, but with common sense. That’s why you have to the current nitrogen law also off the table: we should no longer look at deposition, but at emissions. The herd must be smaller and there is no room for new mega stables.
Finally, the party advocates maintaining good public facilities in the region and making binding agreements with provinces. And also good and fast public transport between the regions. When asked whether all these objectives will be achieved within four years, Omtzigt answers: ‘No, but we are going to start restoring the social contract.’
The post first appeared on www.bnr.nl