Dutch bill would raise gambling taxes to fund student grants

6 November 2019

Dutch Member of Parliament Roelof Bisschop of Christian Right political party the Dutch Reformed Political Party (SGP) has sponsored an amendment that would increase the nation’s gambling taxes in order to fund an expansion of Dutch student grant system.

The amendment has been co-sponsored by Lisa Westerveld of environmental left party Groenlinks.

The details of the tax increase are included in a separate amendment to the country’s tax package for 2020 which has not yet been published. However, Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant reported that the increase would take the tax from its current rate of 30.1% to 38.5%.

The original amendment would raise the maximum family income threshold for a student to receive a grant for post-secondary education. It is estimated to cost €100m, all of which would be paid by the gambling tax increase.

“With the introduction of the loan system, middle incomes in particular have come under considerable pressure,” the amendment said. “Students from these families have limited or no right to a supplementary grant and are fully dependent on a loan. The pressure on students has therefore increased considerably.”

The SGP has opposed the prevalence of gambling in its manifesto. The party said that online gambling should not be legal in the country, the Dutch gambling regulator should increase its staff to improve its enforcement powers and that gambling should not be advertised.