In September 2018, the Government announced its plans to reduce the #30Rule to a five-year term limit for current and new users of the #30Rule. The decision to break a deal with current users of the #30Rule was met with significant resistance by corporations, unions, lobbyists, and of course, the UENL community. Of particular note, UENL released a commissioned legal document which showed that the proposal violated Dutch law.
In October 2018, based on this resistance, the commissioned legal document, and a decision to maintain the dividend tax, the Government announced it would include SOME transition for SOME users of the #30Rule in the Belastingplan2019.
UENL, however, believes that #aDEALisaDEAL for EVERYONE – and to that end – UENL continued its efforts after October 2018 by requesting that existing term limits be respected for ALL current users of the #30Rule. UENL commissioned a second legal document which again showed that the proposal continues to violate Dutch law – specifically violating the principles of legal certainty, proportionality, and equality. In short, the #30Rule proposal – as included in the Belastingplan2019 – is counter to good governance.
With this information in hand, UENL continued its extensive lobbying efforts – ensuring that the Tweede Kamer was aware that treating current recipients of the #30Rule differently is damaging to the trustworthiness of the government and violates Dutch law. Ultimately, two different amendments were proposed by the opposition (GroenLinks & Socialist Party; PvdA & SGP) which respected term limits for ALL current users. The Tweede Kamer, however, rejected these amendments. The Tweede Kamer did vote to approve the revised Belastingplan2019.
UENL continues to believe that #aDEALisADEAL for everyone, As such, UENL will be taking two key steps in the coming weeks:
1. Lobbying the Eerste Kamer. Formally, the role of the Eerste Kamer is to scrutinize the actions of the Government. The Eerste Kamer can only reject or accept legislation. They cannot propose amendments. They do, however, have several other options to influence change. Like the Tweede Kamer, members of the Eerste Kamer are entitled to put written questions to the Government. They also debate on the Government's budget which gives them the opportunity to debate current and future policy. At UENL, we will be ensuring our voices are heard by the Eerste Kamer – including ensuring that our commissioned legal document is in the hands of the Eerste Kamer. Our main focus will be to reiterate that the #30Rule legislation in the Belastingplan2019 violates Dutch law. Although UENL will do its utmost, it is important to be realistic that the chances of successfully lobbying the Eerste Kamer are minimal.
2. Evaluating our Legal Options. Given that our chances of successfully lobbying the Eerste Kamer are minimal, we believe it is also important to fully understand our legal options. We are currently evaluating all options to determine whether legal action in court is a reasonable next step. In the coming days, we will continue our ongoing conversations with our legal team as well as with legal advisors to identify what is the most feasible and realistic solution. We will then present our plan to our Community, along with the associated costs.