Peace Tax Bills in Seven Countries

by Erik Th. Hummels, 1997

1. The Netherlands

In the Netherlands a peace tax Bill was introduced in 1989 with a modification in 1992.

The bill covered income tax, salary tax, property tax and succession tax. The amount of the payment which has to be transferred to the Dutch Peace Fund is part of the tax assessment. This part is the same percentage as the percentage of the Defence budget to the total state budget.

In the Dutch bill the sovereignty of the parliament to control the budget has been respected. This implies that the payment to the Peace Tax Fund does not lead to an equivalent reduction of the Defence budget. The possibility exists even that the budgets of other departments are cut in connection with activities of the Fund. In the Dutch bill the Minister of Defence has the control of the Peace Fund.

According to the bill everyone who has conscientious objections to military taxation can apply for the provision. The seriousness of the conscientious objection can be verified.

On September 24 1993 the permanent committees for Defence and for Finance of the Second Chamber of the Dutch parliament charged with the preparative inquiry of the bill, made their provisional report. The bill was not considered topical enough.

The Christian-Democrats mentioned that since the bill was introduced in 1989 there have been developments with regard to the deployment of the armed forces, that in areas as Iraq, Cambodia and Ex-Yugoslavia the armed forces were and are participating in different peace and humanitarian operations, that the tasks of the armed forces is at the moment to be prepared for peace operations and humanitarian aid.

A number of Green Party MPs consider now one of the most important tasks of the Dutch armed forces is preventive peace keeping within the framework of the UN, in which nonviolent conflict resolution plays an important part.

Implicit in all this is that the political parties do not understand why someone can utter conscientious objections against the military designation of tax money on pacifist grounds when the military is doing so much peace work.

The Green Party decided to withdraw the bill. This happened by letter to the President of the Second Chamber d.d. January 22 1997.


Copyright and responsibility Erik Th. Hummels 1997

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