European countries must cooperate more on labor migration to face competition from other parts of the United States and China. This is what Lorenz Daassen, leader of the Volt party, says at the entrepreneurship debate organized by the BNR party. “There is a fierce battle with these countries over international talent in ICT, technology and new technologies.”
Without a European plan, European technology and ICT companies, including Dutch ones, will be “completely outcompeted,” according to Dasen. It is believed that European countries are still competing heavily with each other in the expatriate field. He added: “Every country is moving further and further in its arrangements for expatriates, and we are organizing a race to the bottom.” Dassin wants “common agreements” in Europe, to prevent individual countries from “competing against each other.”
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He receives support from GroenLinks-PvdA MP Tom van der Lee, who pointed out the difficulty of achieving a European approach to dealing with labor migration. “The truth is: that’s still a long way off.” Van der Lee therefore wants to invest in education, so that the business community can obtain well-trained employees from their country.
Expatriates enjoy a number of tax advantages in the Netherlands. The House of Representatives decided to simplify this arrangement on the last meeting day before the election holiday. Based on an idea by Peter Omtzgut (NSC), who wants to compensate student loan systems with the money they generate. Van der Lee was a signatory of this amendment, as he also confirms in this discussion. He prefers to invest in Dutch students, “our knowledge workers,” rather than in expatriates.
Expatriates currently receive a tax deduction for five years: 30% of the gross salary is paid tax-free. In the Umtzigt amendment, the 30 percent scheme remains in place for the first 20 months, but is then phased out over five years. The rate decreases by 10 percent every twenty months, to about 0 percent.
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He says VVD MP Ilko Heinen saw nothing of it. We were the only party to vote against this proposal. We really need this knowledge in the Netherlands, where people from abroad contribute to our economy. Heynen believes that the expatriate scheme in the Netherlands has often been simplified, to the detriment of Dutch companies. For example, according to Heinen, a company like ASML “cannot exist without people from the outside.” He also points out that many companies in the Netherlands are facing staff shortages.
Have people first
Eddy van Heegum, the MP candidate for Umtzigt’s New Social Contract, believes that training our employees should be taken into consideration first before companies rely on migrant workers. “Labor migration can be a solution to part of the problem, but it starts with training and improving your workforce. There are still a hundred thousand people on the margins who can work with good training and good mentoring.
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