My name is Hary. I have been residing and working in Netherlands for more than 5 years as a researcher in marine environment and climate change. In the past 5 years and 7 months, I represented two NGOs who are working with local/international governments and organizations (e.g., UN and European Parliament) in the field of marine environment protection and climate change mitigation. I have been on two missions to India with Dutch companies, helping to bring Dutch knowledge in Marine environment protection and climate change policies.
I moved to the Netherlands not only solely for my job but also the feeling the Dutch people gave me in terms of acceptance and the values that Dutch people hold dear to them. In all of the European countries I have visited, this place is where I felt the least racism and where people accepted me beyond my skin color and nationality. During my time here, I have volunteered for two organizations “humanitas” and “best buddies” helping kids with down syndrome and social problems. I started volunteering because I felt that the Netherlands, as a country, gave me so much and I felt the need and necessity to give something back. I did this while ensuring that I not only respect but also understand your values and culture as a whole.
The recent announcement of reducing the 30% ruling from 8 years to 5 years has seriously deteriorated my trust towards the Dutch government. I had planned my financial commitments based on the 8 year 30% tax policy. What I mean by financial commitment is that I took a personal loan to afford a complex heart surgery for my mother in 2015. When my salary slashes down to 1000 euros from 1st Jan 2019 (should you decide to go ahead with your plan), I will default on my payments to the bank and I will be forced to move out or leave the country as a result. This will ultimately result in extreme emotional turmoil for myself and my family. And in truth, I am not sure, if my family can handle this emotional turmoil.
When you reflect on this proposal, I hope you will keep in mind the people who will get affected by this rule to whom you promised something completely different. I hope that the Netherlands will not become another country who opts to use tools against immigrants/expats in order to win back trust and acceptance among the Dutch people.