Let us elaborate on each of these five promises:
Promise 1: we will fight climate change
We have to stop global warming now. And we have to make a real effort to prevent natural disasters and the extinction of plants and wild life species. We have to work hard to create a healthy and habitable earth. For ourselves, but also for future generations. GroenLinks chooses a sustainable future. We want the planet to be green.
- We will reduce carbon emissions. And we will create laws that force companies to be sustainable. If companies contribute to large scale carbon emissions, they will pay a lot more taxes. In 25 years our whole society will be carbon neutral. This means that the production of food and products will not damage the climate any further.
- We will create a deposit-return system for cans and wine bottles. Plastic packaging will be recycled as much as possible. And free plastic cups and containers will be slowly phased out. This is how we will protect our nature by reducing the amount of discarded plastic.
- Increasing nature is an essential component in creating a healthy climate. This is why we will create new natural areas in The Netherlands: near the Marker Wadden, the Oostvaarderswold and the Peel. We will also connect existing natural areas, which will benefit both plant as well as animal life.
- A greener environment also contributes to clean air and a healthier living environment. This is why we will plant 17 million new trees in the coming four years: one for each Dutch citizen.
- There will be a Climate fund totalling 60 billion euros. With this money we will build a green economy. We will fund companies with innovative plans for green energy made from sustainable resources, such as sun, wind and water. With this money we will also build affordable and sustainable houses. In residential areas only, so it does not come at the cost of reducing natural areas.
- We will build fast bicycle lanes between municipalities. And we will greatly improve public transport. An example of this are the plans to create a direct train connection between Groningen and the Randstad. And to build more direct train lines between The Netherlands and other European countries.
- Better public transport means that we do not have to build more highways. We will introduce road pricing: the more you drive your car, the more you pay. Flying will become more expensive, and taking the train will become cheaper.
- We will also fight climate change by investing in sustainable agriculture. We will support our farmers – financially – to return to a way of farming that is biological, healthy and kind to animals. With half of the livestock that The Netherlands currently holds. Without the use of pesticides or other substances that are bad for the environment.
- Everybody deserves to eat in a healthy way. We will make fruits and vegetables cheaper. Every primary school student will be offered healthy meals at school.
Promise 2: we will strengthen the public sector
The health of our public sector has been deteriorating over the last decade. The budgets of our education system, our health care and the social housing sector have been systematically cut. This is why it is an absolute priority for GroenLinks that we invest in creating a stronger public sector.
- Many insurance companies are focused solely on the cost of health care. This needs to stop. We need public services that provide good quality health care. We want to turn insurance companies into health funds. In every region, the health fund will make a health plan, which specifies the quality of hospital care, GP’s, municipal care, elderly care and mental health care (GGZ). The goal is to lower the workload of health care workers, so they have ample time to provide quality care.
- We will make health care affordable for everyone. Health insurance should cost no more than 10 euros a month. Own risk – now 385 euros per year – will be eliminated for people with a low or middle income.
- The municipal health departments (GGD) have a very important job during the covid crisis. But they are often understaffed, which leads to problems with testing and contact tracing. We want to increase the GGD’s budget to prevent such problems in the future.
- Everyone in The Netherlands should be able to go to hospital near them in case of emergencies and smaller operations. Wherever you live. And there should be more cooperation between hospitals in the same region to provide specialist procedures.
- We will increase the funds of child protection services, mental health care services and elderly care. We will increase the amount of shelters, rooms in nursery homes and suitable housing for the elderly.
- We encourage a healthy lifestyle. Everyone should be able to join a sports club, regardless of your income or physical disabilities. We will increase the price of tobacco. And we will ban smoking from parcs, playgrounds and terraces. Swimming lessons will become a part of primary education again.
- Every child deserves a good start in life, regardless of where you come from or how much money your parents earn. Quality education means that the teacher has time for every child in the class. That is why classes have to become smaller. Every parent will receive free day care for their children, four days a week. And free after school care for all children.
- We also want schools to provide extra tutoring for children with a learning disability or for children who have difficulty focusing on their personal development.
- Primary school teachers will receive the same pay as their colleagues who teach secondary school. And we will also raise the wages of teachers that teach at special education, vmbo and mbo schools. Every teacher should be able to afford housing in the city where they teach.
- To solve the housing crisis we will build 1 million affordable houses in the next ten years. Because everybody should have a safe place where they feel at home. We will lower the rent and give renters more security.
- Creating a safe place for everyone also means that we have to ensure nobody has to sleep outside at night. We will make sure that every municipality has more shelter capacity for people without housing.
Promise 3: we will divide work and income equally
We should work to ensure that everyone has a good basis in life and can pay their rent, groceries and other basic needs. But instead of closing the wealth gap, wealth inequality has continued to rise over the last decade. GroenLinks wants a society that works for everyone. Where every person can earn a fair income and can live in an affordable house. A society where big companies and the rich do not become increasingly wealthy, but share their wealth. A society in which everyone can participate and nobody has to live in poverty.
- To close the wealth gap, we will introduce a basic income in the next 8 years. We will also increase the minimum wage to 14 euros an hour. And freelancers (zzp’ers) will earn a fair hourly rate.
- We will lower taxes for workers with a low or middle income. And we will raise taxes for the rich and for big companies. Multi-millionaires will pay 2% of their wealth in taxes, annually.
- We will create more job security for temporary workers and flex workers by motivating big companies to extend more permanent contracts. And there will be a unifying policy for those who are incapacitated to work, including for freelancers.
- Employees will receive more rights. To be a part of the decision making process when a company has to make important decisions. To work more from home, if this is a possibility. And they will receive more parental leave. Mothers will receive 9 weeks of paid leave within the first nine months after childbirth. Fathers or co-parents will receive 3 weeks of paid leave.
- All young people will receive 10.000 euros when they turn 18 years old. This is given in the form of a start-up fund that can be used to pay for education. When you turn 23 years old you can also use the fund for other purposes, such as starting your own business.
- Employment is an important part of anyone’s wellbeing. That is why we want to offer personal assistance to anyone who is unemployed. This can come in the form of reschooling or retraining, or in the form of jobs at a workshop for people with a job disability. Municipalities should create enough meaningful jobs.
- We will increase the AOW-subsidies (old age pension act), so those who do not receive a pension can also get by. We will also raise social security benefits and Wajong-benefits (for people who are unable to work from a young age due to disease or disability).
- We will provide debt relief to people with large debts.
- And we will provide good health care, clean drinking water and electricity for all citizens of the Caribbean Netherlands.
Promise 4: we will build an inclusive society
Community is so important. During this crisis we have to keep our distance, but we’re never far apart. We continue to care for each other. Local entrepreneurs support food banks, neighbours help each other out with the groceries, tens of thousands of volunteers take time out of their week to contribute to society. We care for each other and we respect each other. For GroenLinks building an inclusive society is key, where there is room to be yourself and where differences are celebrated.
- Not being racist is not enough. We are anti-racist: we fight against conscious and sub-conscious forms of discrimination based on skin colour, religion, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. Whether you are applying for an internship or a job, in school or in the street, in government or police forces – nobody should be excluded or discriminated against. This is why we will appoint a national ‘anti-discrimination’ coordinator whose task it is to combat and prevent every form of racism and discrimination.
- A reliable rule of law is an essential component of a fair and just society. Police offers and judges should punish criminals and protect victims of crime. We want to increase the amount of police officers, especially in the neighbourhood police force. Special attention has to be paid to the diversity in the police force. More women, LGBTQI+ people and people of colour should be employed.
- The Netherlands will offer a formal apology for its history of slavery and oppression. Keti Koti, the remembrance of the abolition of slavery in Surinam on the 1st of July, will become a national holiday. So will Bevrijdingsdag on the 5th of may when we remember the end of the Second World War.
- Culture and the Arts are the life blood of our society. We will increase funding for upcoming talent and new cultural institutions across The Netherlands.
- We will also build new libraries and neighbourhood centres, to stimulate people to read, learn and to meet people in their own community. There will be more participative decision making on the local level.
- We will introduce a special plan to combat sexual violence in schools, sporting clubs, and many other arenas of life. We will create more places where victims of (sexual) violence can go when they are not safe at home.
- We will actively help those who have fled their own country because of war and violence. We will provide more aid to refugees and we will offer them the care, housing, language education and legal assistance that they need.
Promise 5: We will increase international cooperation
Cooperation between European countries is essential to provide safe harbour for refugees. But this is not the only reason why Groenlinks is in favour of a strong and united Europe. A united Europe makes it possible for us to travel, learn and work safely and freely. A strong Europe means more prosperity, also for the poorest European nations. Europe’s future is, above all, green.
- The European Union (the EU) will create the ‘jobs of the future’. Jobs in sustainable energy and sustainable management and recycling of resources.
- In ten years, all coal plants in Europe should be shut down. We will stop funding fossil fuels, such as natural gas, coal and oil. The EU will increase funding for sustainable energy and projects that help us to save energy.
- The EU will protect human rights and the rights of EU citizens. The EU will be tough on European countries where democracy is under attack, such as Poland and Hungary.
- Even though the UK is no longer a part of the EU, the UK will remain an important EUU-partner. To trade with. To combat the climate crisis. And to ensure our collective safety.
- Armies of EU-countries should collaborate in joint international peace-keeping efforts. They should have one goal in sight: a joint European army.
- The Netherlands will actively fight for a world without weapons, without nuclear weapons, without landmines and without cluster ammunition.
- The Netherlands will also fight for fair trade. Trade should go hand in hand with the protection of nature and with human rights and animal rights. Trade should eliminate poverty and inequality. And trade should be sustainable. Trade must be a benefit to everyone.
If you want to know more about our election promises, you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Vote GroenLinks on the 17th of March. For an equal and more sustainable future for everyone.