ChristenUnie leader Gert-Jan Segers lacks the ideals of traditional power parties such as VVD, CDA and PvdA. “You ask yourself: where are your ideals? Where is your heart “According to him, the ChristenUnie has a” special position “because the party does not stay on the sidelines, but also does not put pragmatism above everything.
The party tries to bring this balance to the fore in the election manifesto. A large and more active government plays a central role in this. This government has gotten too cold in recent years, Segers tells the ANP. “The government has to be there for everyone. A government that is not an ally is not the government I want. “At the moment, the government is still relying too much on a“ liberal view of humanity ”and that everyone is independent, says the CU leader. “But that’s not the reality.”
The corona crisis also brought this to light, says Segers. “We saw more clearly where things really need to be changed.” According to the party, for example, major interventions are required in the labor market. Segers advocates 50,000 “basic jobs” to replace welfare benefits. The party had previously presented a radical tax reform for the coming years. There was agreement in The Hague that the benefit system, and thus in part social security, must be revised.
The ChristenUnie also wants changes in the healthcare system. The deductible needs to be frozen and the party wants to ensure that the deductible cannot be used all at once. In addition to the manifesto “Aging with dignity”, the party intends to invest 1 billion euros in 80,000 new old people’s homes in the coming years.
But much has to change not only in the area of taxes and care. In general, the Netherlands should become a more social country, says Segers, where people look more closely at one another. This requires a change of course. “It is far from attractive for us to be part of a cabinet to keep it down,” says the CU head. He is “very reluctant” to continue the status quo in a new cabinet.
He also admits that some of the compromises he has had to make with coalition partners have not always been easy to bear in recent years. There is also “permanent unease” in his party about the “Moria deal” between the ruling parties. The Netherlands receives one hundred vulnerable refugees from Greece. This while the ChristenUnie would rather see a much more comprehensive asylum policy, especially for people in emergency situations like on the Greek islands.