Local elections 2018: latest news on the last day of campaigning

Execs of bourse newcomer bank NIBC get big bonus for staying four years

One in seven councillors quits early According to BNR radio, one in seven of the 1,300 local councillors elected in 2014 quit before their term in office was up. Most left because being a councillor took too much time, others were offered a job which made it impossible to do both, had a political difference of opinion with their fellow party members or had health issues. Fewer women on the right Research by the Volkskrant suggests that the more right wing a political party actually is, the fewer women it has on its election list. And the pro-animal PvdD is the only party to have more women than men as candidates. Bottom of the list is the fundamentalist Protestant SGP, which considers women should not vote anyway.    More >

Rules for company bikes to be simplified

Dutch company bike scheme is too complicated, says tax minister The government is to simplify the rules surrounding the use of company bikes - e-bikes in particular - in an effort to make the corporate perk more attractive. Currently, just 10,000 people have a company bike but there are some 700,000 company cars on the Dutch roads, the finance ministry said. Junior finance minister Menno Snel says the current complicated rules for company bikes - and the fear of paying extra tax - deter companies from offering bikes to their staff. In particular, users have to keep a careful record of how much they use their bike for company and private matters and how much they spend in repairs and maintenance. 'Cycling is healthy, good for the environment and reduces traffic congestion,' Snel said. 'Nevertheless, a lot of people still take the car to get to work.' Snel is now in talks with lease car companies, the cycling union and road users lobby groups to work out the new system which he hopes will come into effect in January 2020. According to the AD, one of the suggestions on the table is the introduction of a 4% tax rate on company bikes. This means company bike users would pay tax of 4% over catalogue value of their bike. The groups involved in the discussions estimate this would generate €6m a year for the tax office and save €44m a year through better air quality, lower absenteeism and improved health, the paper said.  More >

Dutch back video assistance for Eredivisie

Dutch FA backs use of video assistance during Eredivisie games The Dutch football association KNVB has decided to use video referees in all next season's Eredivisie matches plus a string of other competition games. The 16 Eredivisie clubs voted in favour of the move at the association's AGM on Monday evening. The organisation said in a statement the decision is a 'unique moment in Dutch football history'. From next year referees will be able to ask a video assistant referee (VAR) for advice before making a decision. The video referee will analyse the situation on the basis of different camera angles and make recommendations. The KNVB tested the use of video referees in cup matches and the play-offs for promotion last year. In December, clubs agreed to discuss the cost of introducing the new system. From August, referees will be able to refer to video referees during all Eredivisie matches, the four final play-offs for promotion and relegation to the premier league, play-offs for European football, the Johan Cruijff plate title fight and the quarter finals of the KNVB Cup, the KNVB said. In total, 324 games will involve the use of the VAR system. Earlier this month, Fifa voted to revise the rules governing football to include the use of video assistant referees, clearing the way for the Dutch move.  More >

Vattenfall bags non-subsidised wind farm

Execs of bourse newcomer bank NIBC get big bonus for staying four years The concession for the Hollandse Kust Zuid offshore wind farm was awarded on Monday evening to Vattenfall, the Swedish state-owned energy company which is the parent of Dutch power group Nuon. The 30-year, €1.5bn project is the first non-subsidised offshore windfarm in the world, online news service Nu.nl said on Tuesday. In announcing the news, economic affairs minister Erik Wiebes said: ‘This will be the first to operate on wind and not subsidies.’ Scheduled to be operational in 2022, the 700 megawatt windfarm will generate power for one million homes, or 1% and 2% of total Dutch energy consumption every year, the economic affairs ministry said. The county aims to generate 16% of total energy needs -  roughly 4,500 MW - sustainably by 2023. The cost of building offshore wind farms has declined substantially in recent years. Vattenfall won the concession against rival bidders which included Innology, parent of Essent and Equinor, the former Norwegian Statoil. Vattenfall CEO Magnus Hall said: ‘The Netherlands is an important market for us and is our second-largest offshore arena.  We are pleased to be a part of the energy transition taking place now.’  More >

€26m to alleviate loneliness among elderly

Execs of bourse newcomer bank NIBC get big bonus for staying four years The health ministry is drawing up a package of measures to alleviate loneliness among the elderly, including an annual visit to check up on everyone over the age of 75, broadcaster RTL Nieuws said on Tuesday. Health minister Hugo de Jonge has allocated €26m to the project, RTL said. According to ministry figures, 700,000 elderly people feel lonely at times and that will rise to 1.1 million by 2030. One measure includes developing a special programme of volunteers and professionals who will visit everyone over the age of 75 once a year to assess if they are lonely and help draw up an action plan. Councils will also be encourage to set up a hotline where neighbours can report potential problems and develop a 24-hour phone service which lonely old people can ring. The government also plans to map 'at risk' areas where large numbers of elderly people live and work with housing corporations to develop small scale local amenities such as small parks with benches where people can sit. The presence of shops and a community centre also reduce the risk that people will become lonely, the ministry is quoted as saying.  More >