My family and I decided to move to The Netherlands in autumn last year. We had a choice of countries where I could have been based in for my job, however the 30% rule for 8 years was a decisive factor in coming to The Netherlands, as the reality is that there are additional costs to take into account when moving here, including school fees, health insurance and car related costs. We liked the fact that the 30% ruling seemed to acknowledge these costs and, after giving all the various alternatives a great deal of consideration, we decided to move here.
The decision to change countries and build a life somewhere away from family and friends is a big step and once it has been made there is no easy way of going back. At that point we decided as a family to move here, to live our lives here, to learn Dutch, to spend 8 years here, and see if by the end of those 8 years we want to settle here. Note the mindset. We did not decide to move here for 5 years and then leave.
We arrived here in December last year – not very long ago. I fully respect the right of the Dutch Government to decide to reduce the duration of the rule from 8 years to 5 years, however the suggestion of making it apply to current recipients of the policy completely disregards the complex financial decision that was made when deciding to move here. By all means change the duration from 8 years to 5 years going forwards, but why not be reasonable and make the new duration applicable for people who have not already decided to move their lives to the Netherlands? Applying this to current recipients is hostile, punitive, and dismissive to people who have already made the decision, and by moving here, the commitment to be here.
We want to stay here for 8 years and integrate. My 30% rule confirmation letter clearly states 8 years. If the Dutch government takes the unprecedented step of changing this arrangement to 5 years, we will be very disappointed and will question the worth of learning the language and making moves to integrate, together with our children, into a country with a government which is giving us the message that they don’t want us to be here.