Opinion: Bonehead motion

POSTED: 12/13/13 5:11 PM

Of all the motions that have ever been submitted to parliament, yesterday’s Illidge-motion – supported by the UP, independent Laville and DP-MP Roy Marlin beat them all. It is a classic bonehead motion that will absolutely go nowhere. It is ill-times, vague, and full of promises MPs seem to think they are able to make while they saddle the government with the task to bring in the goods.

That is of course not how it works. The 2014 budget is near-ready for handling in parliament. As Finance Minister Hassink announced on Wednesday, it is a bare-bones budget, but not a bonehead budget.

While any reasonable motion would target one topic, the Illidge-motion feels like a shower of shot, launched in the ill-fated expectation that maybe something will stick.

Tax relief for income and profit tax for the period 2006-2010, tax incentives for businesses and “other institutions”, defiscalization, a customer friendly tax system, a stop on new work permits for unskilled , semi-skilled and skilled labor, a zero tolerance of policy for tax collection ….’

Wow, this reads like a Christmas wish list, though William Marlin was quick to label it a Christmas-joke that is probably closer to the truth. And oh, before we forget, the tax relief measures should be submitted to parliament “before or together with the draft budget 2014.”

One must wonder what world some politicians live in. The motion is at some points so non-specific that it is completely unclear what it aims to achieve.

And then there is this: a motion is not more than a request to the government. That is the good news: the government does not have to execute this motion at all – and we have no doubt that this will be its just fate.

It’s a bit like asking daddy for a new toy, knowing darn well that he does not have the money for it, without offering a solution for the financial consequences. Illidge and his lot do not seem to care about such mundane details, but we’re pretty sure that this motion will hit a blank wall. The sooner the better.


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