These elections offer a fundamental choice. Do we choose to make the divide between the rich and poor larger? Or do we choose a fair distribution of our wealth? Will we do nothing and watch our planet’s temperature? Or will we choose a green economy? Do we choose to allow the divisions in society to become larger? Or do we choose a society where we live with each other respectfully?
The time for change has come.
Sharing our wealth fairly
The Netherlands is a tax haven for multinationals. These large companies do not provide jobs, but use our country to evade taxation, while workers in this country pay their fair share. A small entrepreneur takes risks with his own money, while too often bankers have to be bailed out by the government, with money that belongs to all of us.
The time for change has come: GroenLinks will ensure that in the Netherlands we share our wealth fairly. We ask a greater contribution from multinationals. We ask people with large investment portfolios to pay their fair share. In this way, we can lower the taxes that regular workers pay and therefore they will have more money left at the end of the month. At the same time we will create more secure jobs, and people that depend on welfare will see their income increase substantially.
Our country is too dependent on fossil fuels, like gas, coal and oil. Burning these fuels contributes to global warming.
The time for change has come: we choose to build a green economy, an economy that works on solar and wind energy, and without coal plants, of course. It is time to invest in innovation. In a new, green economy. By starting now with the construction of offshore wind farms and other forms of clean energy, we will create thousands of green jobs. And we will make sure that we leave a clean, safe and sustainable planet for our children.
Poverty has become hereditary. How far you can come in life and how large your dreams can be, should not be limited by who your parents are.
The time for change has come: every child should have the same chances. This means that every child should be provided with childcare, so they can all have an equal start. We should allow students to delay the choosing of a particular level of high school and instead attend an orientation year (‘brede brugklas’). It should also become easier for children to pursue a more advanced level of school after finishing one level. Because a child should be able to determine his or her own future.
Healthcare is being treated like a market. Hospitals are being run like companies. Bureaucratic management layers, profit-obsessed insurance companies and blunt cuts have taken the care out of healthcare. Doctors and nurses cannot give people what they need.
The time for change has come: the money that pays the bonuses of board members must go towards the healthcare of patients, as do the profits of pharmaceutical companies and the marketing campaigns of insurance companies. GroenLinks wants to use this money to hire more nurses in order to give the people the care that they deserve.
Our society has become less respectful. From bullying youths who will not let anyone correct them to employers who refuse a young man for an internship because of his foreign last name or because he has a boyfriend.
But if we want to continue as a society, we need to understand the problems, feelings and views of others; we should give others a fair chance, even if they are different. Sometimes the truth is not black and white: the worries of a man who sees his neighborhood become less safe and the frustration of a girl who is refused for a job because of her last name are both justified. The start of the solution is mutual respect, learning to understand each other, and the willingness to meet each other.
It is time for a country where sharing our wealth fairly beats egocentrism, where our common future beats short-term profits, and where hope beats fear. Change is necessary. Change is possible. The time for change has come. The time for GroenLinks has come!
The GroenLinks program in 15 points
1. Sharing our wealth fairly
We have to ask more from large multinationals, banks and people with large investment portfolios so everyone can benefit. Therefore, we want to:
- prevent companies from using tax loopholes to evade paying their fair share of taxes;
- lower income taxes. This will create more jobs and higher wages;
- ensure that people with a small income see their income increase substantially.
2. Clean Energy
We choose to rely on clean energy so we can leave a clean world with a healthy climate to our children. Therefore, we want to:
- close all coal plants in four years and stop subsidizing fossil energy;
- build more offshore wind farms;
- make sure that in fifteen years no home in the Netherlands uses natural gas for heating.
3. Fair chances
The size of your dreams should not be limited by who your parents are. Every child has a right to a world-class education. Therefore we want to:
- ensure that all children can attend childcare for three days a week;
- make elementary and high school classes smaller and pay teachers better. We will hire 20.000 new teachers;
- half tuition fees and increase the scholarships for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. We will make these available for a larger group.
4. Personal care
Healthcare insurance companies will no longer control healthcare. Caring for people will be central in healthcare. Therefore we want to:
- reduce market competition in healthcare;
- lower healthcare premiums and abolish healthcare policy deductibles;
- hire 30.000 additional nurses to care for seniors and disabled people.
5. One Society
In the Netherlands we deal with our differences respectfully and we cherish democratic values and the rule of law. Therefore we want to:
- institute tougher sentences for hate crimes;
- teach asylum seekers Dutch and educate them about the Dutch constitution from day one;
- hire a thousand additional police offers to work on safe neighborhoods.