A parliamentary bill submitted by the opposition parties which is designed to thwart government privatisation proposals for public transport is to be debated in parliament today.
The Christian Democrats and the VVD will strongly oppose the bill, but the opposition appear to be supported by the Freedom Party, giving it a majority in parliament.
VVD MP Charlie Aptroot says the bill is incomprehensible. He says the government wants to privatise public transport to make it more efficient and cheaper. “It has saved 17 million euros on bus transport in Rotterdam alone. You should think about how much difference that will make if you do it in all the cities.”
The Labour Party, D66, Green Left and Socialist Party which drafted the bill are not happy with the government proposals. The Socialist Party accuses the government of being dogmatic. D66, which supports privatisation in principle, opposes central government imposing decisions on local councils. It says the local authorities know what works best for them.
Christian Democrat MP Maarten Haverkamp fears the oppostiion bill will do nothing for public transport users. He says, “In Rotterdam and The Hague, public transport has already been privatised, the local council and companies are pleased with the outcome.” He also scorned the opposition parties for their cooperation in particular because their bill is supported by the Freedom Party, which until recently supported the minority cabinet in parliament.
The opposition parties hope the bill will go to a vote next week in time to prevent the privatisation of public transport in Amsterdam.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide