The current distribution of wealth, property and power only benefits a small part of our society. BIJ1 wants an economy that works for everyone, not just for a small group of people. We want to move towards a democratic economy in which profits and prices are controlled. A future-proof economy for everyone, free from racism, exclusion and exploitation of the planet, human beings and animals.
Capitalism is a system that wants to produce as much as possible at as little cost as possible. This is at the expense of people, animals and the planet. That system is unsustainable. Economic crises follow one another, climate change threatens life on our planet and the gap between rich and poor continues to grow. The power of big businesses is a threat to democracy, certainty when it comes to livelihood is not secure for everyone and many people worldwide are being exploited so that a few can live in prosperity. Quality and sustainability are not a priority in this system and working people have no say in their work.
DOWN WITH THE DICTATORSHIP OF THE ‘FREE MARKET’
Where the so-called ‘free’ market talks about freedom, it is in fact a dictatorship that exploits working people. After all, the profits are made at the workers’ expense. Moreover, the supply of products and services does not depend on need, but on the appetite for profit of company owners. In this way, surpluses and deficits are created, unnecessary, poor-quality products are produced and a sustainable economy remains far out of sight.
BIJ1 wants to work from the ground up towards an economy that is democratically planned by all those who participate in it. We are going to produce the products and quantities that are needed and the profits will go to working people. Working people will have control over their work and prices and profits will be controlled.
NO GAP BETWEEN RICH AND POOR
We are going to close the widening gap between low wage earners and the very richest. A just economy that works for all of us is one in which money is distributed fairly. The strongest shoulders therefore bear the heaviest burden. In tackling poverty, we must move from poverty reduction to poverty prevention (3). We also realise how prejudices and assumptions about origin and colour determine who ends up in poverty.
HELP PEOPLE OUT OF DEBT, NOT IN IT
The consumer society is all about continuing to buy. The debt economy created by the market is profitable, which is why creditors like to maintain it. All the law is on the side of the creditor, at both individual and national level. BIJ1 wants debt to become a shared responsibility between the creditor and the person who is in debt. Businesses and government as creditors should no longer benefit from debt and thus drive people further into poverty.
The fight against climate change means rethinking the human relationship with land, labour, animals, nature and the economy. Capitalism, imperialism and colonialism have created a global system of climate pollution. We want climate justice, recognising the role of Western power systems, taking responsibility for it and allowing the strongest shoulders to bear the heaviest burden: a Decolonial Green Deal.
To create a fair economy, BIJ1 proposes the following measures.
GET THE MONEY FROM WHERE IT’S HELD
- We’ll impose a one-off corona tax of 5% on the financial assets and real estate of multi-millionaires of more than 3 million Euro’s. With this we can cover (part of) the social costs that have arisen as a result of the Coronacrisis.
- Private companies that sell their products in the Netherlands will pay a substantial profits-tax and favourable tax constructions will be stopped. Rich people will pay substantial capital and inheritance tax.
- The Netherlands being the tax haven it currently is will be made impossible. We’ll also make it impossible for companies in the Netherlands to use escape routes to avoid paying tax.
- Open borders for people, not for capital: we are combating capital flight. Internationally, we are investing in tracing and prosecuting tax evaders.
- The income tax for high incomes from work, housing, dividends, profit on sales of shares (box 1 and 2) will be increased proportionally.
FROM A MARKET ECONOMY TO AN ECONOMY FOR ALL
- We’ll place important sectors of the economy, such as banks, pension funds, public transport, healthcare and other basic industries, into public hands. These industries will come under the control of the workers. The government facilitates them where necessary.
- Production planning in each sector and company will be in the hands of the employees. The government facilitates and supervises them. This creates a better and fairer balance between supply and demand. Prices and profits are thus controlled.
- Control over work means that employees must also share in the profits. We’ll do this by bringing sectors into public hands and by establishing more legal arrangements for profit and capital accumulation.
- For the benefit of care, housing and public transport, we’ll loosen legislation for expropriation considerably with regard to capital, shares, property and land.
PRODUCE ACCORDING TO CAPACITY, TAKE ACCORDING TO NEED
- We are going to produce according to need and no longer to make profits for business owners. We will produce locally as much as possible.
- We let the social usefulness of a product determine the price. A petrol car may currently be produced cheaply, but it is socially undesirable in the interests of sustainability. That is why we are making these products more expensive.
- We’ll make optimal use of robotisation. However, robotisation is not a cheap substitute for labour: we guarantee a viable income and employment by shortening the working week.
AN END TO THE DEBT ECONOMY
- The shared responsibility of creditors for debts is laid down by law. As a result, we are forcing them to stop charging interest and selling on instalment as a profit model. Debt cancellation is encouraged, debt collection agencies are banned.
- Public authorities take over debts more often, so that there is only one creditor and debts do not accumulate. The government also clears debts more often, so that people can make a fresh start.
- Debt relief organisations that make money out of other people’s debts are banned: the government itself takes back control of debt relief. In doing so, we provide a support system of budget aid and a broader social network by investing in welfare and social work in the neighbourhoods.
A CIRCULAR AND FUTURE-PROOF ECONOMY
- There will be a large-scale study of the impact of import and export products from all sectors on people and the climate, both at home and abroad. This will specifically look at how imported products and services enable and maintain a climate-unfriendly, unfair and imperialist system. Goods originating from non-sustainable and/or unfair production will be phased out and denied access to the market by 2025 at the latest.
- Fair and climate-friendly trade will be the norm for international trade. Trade agreements (existing and new) are also assessed in this way. We’ll withdraw from free trade agreements such as CETA.
- We’ll provide training opportunities and create jobs for the huge sustainability battle we will have to fight.
- The current imperialist looting of former colonies and other non-Western countries by the Netherlands and Dutch companies must be stopped. Dutch companies that invest in foreign projects or companies, or have (raw materials for) their products made abroad, must be able to demonstrate that this is not to the detriment of the local population and climate. On a European level, the Netherlands supports the development of so-called ‘due diligence’ legislation that obliges companies to account for the origin of their products and their impact on people and the environment.
- Economic cooperation with groups and countries wrongfully shunned or sanctioned by Western countries, such as Cuba and Venezuela, will be looked into and encouraged.
- We will put an end to the Netherlands as a tax haven for arms producers and the industry of military technologies. We are banning the establishment of arms companies in the Netherlands and imposing high taxes on the existing arms industry. We’ll transform the arms industry into a civil industry.