On some political issues, there is more disagreement than on other issues. Dutch voters hardly disagree on the issues of banning same-sex marriages, abolition of tax benefits on home mortgage loans and tax cuts. Few voters support such measures. Dutch voters disagree most on issues like development aid and illegal immigration. This emerges from the National Voters Survey 2006, which is published today.
Voters’ opinions on political issues
Supporters differ only marginally on financial issues
A small minority of supporters of political parties favour abolition of the tax benefits for people who have home mortgage loans. Some 12 percent of Christian Democratic Party (CDA) and Liberal Party (VVD) voters are in favour of abolition of mortgage interest deduction. In the Dutch Labour Party (PvdA), 23 percent of voters advocate abolition. For Green Left Party voters, it is 35 percent. Approximately 20 percent of the entire electorate favour tax cuts at the expense of social security. With 5 and 34 percent respectively, Green Left and PvdA voters are the exceptions.
There is less disagreement on the issue of whether 65-overs should pay tax over their old age (AOW) pension. About a quarter of VVD and PVV voters think wealthy pensioners should be taxed, as against more than half of PvdA, Green Left and Christian Union voters.
Supporters’ opinions on abolition of mortgage interest tax benefit
Little agreement on the issue of development aid
Supporters of the various Dutch political parties disagree widely on the issue of development aid. Only 19 percent of PVV voters want to make more money available for development aid. Moving from the right to left side of the political spectrum this percentage grows (77 percent among Green Left voters).
The Dutch military mission in the Afghan province of Uruzgan is approved of by 44 percent of Socialist Party (SP) voters, as opposed to over 70 percent of Christian Union, CDA and VVD voters.
Opinions of supporters of political parties about spending more money on development aid
Supporters hold different views on minority-related problems
The contrast between PVV and Green Left voters becomes obvious on the issue of dealing with ethnic minorities. A complete stop on Muslim immigration is desirable according to 5 percent of Green Left voters, as against 74 percent of PVV voters. In the other parties the proportion of advocates of a complete immigration stop varies between 35 and 40 percent. There is also a huge discrepancy between PVV and Green Left voters with respect to the position of illegal immigrants: 22 percent of PVV voters and 69 percent of Green Left voters think that illegal immigrants who have lived in the Netherlands for a long period of time should be allowed to stay.
Annette Roest and Hans Schmeets