UENL Political Update


DATE: 10 July 2018


Members of the UENL Community: 

As you might recall, following the Finance Committee meeting on 31 May, the MPs assembled nearly 13 pages of questions directed to the State Secretary – all of which were associated with the proposed changes to the 30% rule. Additionally, in the month of June, employers and employees received a letter from the Belastingdienst informing them of a potential reduction in the term length of the 30% rule to 5 years. UENL followed with an open letter to Menno Snel on the 27 June to ensure that our position is clear and to demonstrate that we continue to do our utmost to engage in a diplomatic and reasoned discussion. Along with this, we participated in a meeting at the Ministry of Finance on 2 July where we – yet again – expressed our severe concerns over the lack of transitional regulation in the current proposal and the negative impact that such a proposal may yield.

This past week, the answers to the MP’s list of questions were published. As a council, we have reviewed the responses carefully and spoken with our trusted advisors to ensure that our interpretation of the responses is accurate.

All told, the document is quite detailed and yet – at the same time – does not (in our view) provide any indication as to whether or not the State Secretary has actually realized the impact of this proposed change. In as much, it is neither particularly in favor of our position nor does it firmly condemn our position.

Briefly, the response frequently refers to data in the Dialogic report as justification for the proposal. It notes the numerous concerns by members of our community as well as numerous organizations in the NL – many of whom have come out in support of our efforts – but does little to engage these concerns in any nuanced way. To be fair, however, this did not surprise us. We did not expect that an abrupt direction change would occur at this stage of the process – instead, we expected to see their effort to hold to the coalition agreement – which is exactly what we see.

We realize that many of the members of our UENL community may wish to read these published responses. The complete document, available in Dutch, can be accessed here.

We also recognize that many members of our community may feel more comfortable with an English version. To that end, I have created a summary (download PDF here) that focuses exclusively on the key responses as they relate to our request for transitional regulation. I have deliberately avoided any content which is associated with the merits of the 30% ruling (also part of the MPs questions) since this is not our focus at UENL. We are focusing solely on transitional regulation, not the policy itself.

Importantly, I would ask that – when reviewing this summary – you read this within the lens it was drafted. Specifically, it is my firm intention to be impartial at this stage. Please read this summary with a neutral view and try not to draw any overly positive or negative conclusions since – in truth – it is impossible to draw any conclusions from this response.

As a reminder, on 18 September (Prinsjesdag), Parliament will hold a joint session where the financial policy will be presented. At UENL, we will continue our diplomatic efforts until this time and hope that a reasoned perspective prevails. That said, the UENL council is already assessing all potential scenarios that may unfold on 18 September as well as viable options for each scenario. These options will be communicated to our UENL community in a timely and transparent manner.

More steps are still ahead in our journey. And while it is summer holiday for many, rest assured that your Council members (Engelbert Felberthann, Ashley Vinson, Mike AW, Pavithra Selvam, Jessica Taylor Piotrowski, Massimiliano Barone) are continuing onward. We invite you to please continue to share your stories with us, and of course, welcome any questions you might have.

With best wishes, on behalf of the UENL Council,

Massi Barone

Political Chair, UENL