The D66 plan to temporarily bring workers from, for example, African countries to the Netherlands, receives virtually no approval from the House of Representatives. D66 MP Groothuizen proposes that ‘labor migrants’ come to the Netherlands and allow them to work here for a maximum of four years.
According to the ruling party, the knife cuts in two ways: it could help employers to solve the staff shortages and it could also prevent “dangerous trips with boats”. Groothuizen also thinks it will be easier to make agreements with countries about taking back asylum seekers who have exhausted all legal remedies if people from those countries can work in the Netherlands temporarily.
Naive and unworldly
Most MPs distance themselves from the plan in sharp terms. MP Becker from coalition partner VVD calls it naive and unworldly. She wonders why people from Tanzania or Nigeria would be more suitable, for example, to work in the care, education or construction sectors than the Dutch unemployed. Moreover, the VVD is afraid that the people involved want to stay in the Netherlands after four years.
CDA MP Van Toorenburg said that all sorts of earlier agreements on foreign nationals must be implemented. According to her, D66 only aggravates the problems by “bringing more people to the Netherlands”.
‘Cheap slave trade’
SP Member of Parliament Jasper van Dijk thinks that D66 “wants to easily get cheap labor from Africa to take care of the aging canals”. He also anticipates displacement of Dutch people on the labor market.
PVV spokesperson Emiel van Dijk speaks of “the first step towards the replacement of the Dutch population”. He calls it “a Dutch hateful plan and a kind of cheap slave trade”.
The PvdA finds the proposal opaque and short-sighted. According to MP Kuiken, we are not solving the problems in the Netherlands by bringing a number of Africans to the Netherlands, who also have to be educated.
50Plus leader Krol is afraid that the plan will leave good people from Africa, who could use their knowledge to help build their own country. Thinking MP Azarkan also used the word naively: “The support base is pretty much zero”. SGP leader Van der Staaij speaks of a “retro plan and guest workers 2.0” and Forum for Democracy spokesman Hiddema hardly takes the proposal seriously.
According to GroenLinks spokesperson Van Ojik there may be positive things about the idea of D66, but he believes that refugees should be the first concern. “And the government is actually implementing a policy to discuss the number of asylum seekers as much as possible. How does that relate to the D66 plan?”
State Secretary Broekers-Knol did not yet want to respond to the content of the debate, because she still has to study the plan. And she referred to Minister Koolmees, who deals with the labor market. In another debate, her colleague De Jonge of Public Health did distance himself from the D66 proposal. He called it a wrong choice, pointing out, for example, the language barrier, which can be a problem especially in healthcare.