These are the issues the Dutch are most concerned about
Ahead of the upcoming election in November, a study by the AD has revealed which issues voters in the Netherlands care about the most. The winners: purchasing power, migration and the Dutch healthcare system.
Most Dutchies want to tackle purchasing power
According to the survey, the issue that Dutch nationals are the most preoccupied with is tackling declining purchasing power. Here, 32 percent of people said that they want the Dutch government to focus on putting more money into people’s pockets and to stabilise the price of groceries and other living expenses in the Netherlands.
Behind purchasing power comes the third largest worry held by the Dutch electorate: migration. 40 percent of voters surveyed by the AD said that they feel too much money is being spent on the system that re-homes asylum seekers in the Netherlands, as well as other financial costs associated with migration. A further 16 percent say that they believe less money should be given to the European Union.
A further quarter of respondents said that they would like to see more money spent on the Dutch healthcare system, amidst growing calls for intervention as access to GPs becomes more difficult despite the number of qualified doctors rising. Many people are concerned that people who need care are currently unable to receive it.
Dutch housing shortage is the fourth topic on the agenda
Behind the big three issues of purchasing power, migration and healthcare, comes the longstanding housing shortage in the Netherlands. Though many plans have been put forth to try and tackle the housing shortage, by building new homes and by introducing stricter rules on buy-to-let properties, the shortage persists, and according to some of the top banks, will continue into 2024.
Voters want more money to be invested into housing, specifically affordable housing. Buying a home in the Netherlands can be tricky due to overbidding and other restrictions and finding affordable rental properties has become more difficult in recent years, especially in key cities such as Amsterdam and The Hague.
The energy crisis is fresh in the minds of many
Following 2022’s high energy costs, the issue of where the Netherlands gets its energy from is also at the forefront of many people’s minds. The fifth-most important issue revealed by respondents was the energy transition - specifically how Dutch households should switch from using gas as a primary heat source and the switchover to electricity.
The survey also assessed the willingness of the Dutch to start producing energy by other means, and the answer was a resounding "Yes". More than 6 in 10 respondents said that they think the Netherlands should expand its nuclear power infrastructure. At present, the country has just one nuclear power station, located in the province of Zeeland - curiously the region that voted most in favour of nuclear power in the study. Overall, the issue of nuclear power remains a controversial one in Dutch politics.
How do people in the Netherlands want to save money?
To fund all of this, AD asked its 25.000 respondents to say where they would like to see the government make cuts after the next election. Aside from cutting the budget allocated for the immigration authorities (IND), one in ten Dutch people also told the newspaper that they think many companies in the Netherlands should receive fewer subsidies and pay more tax.
Interestingly, many of the people who took part in the survey do not believe that government allowances and stimulus packages announced during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic should be stopped. Around half of those surveyed do not think the Dutch government should waive their post-COVID support funds.
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