From the electoral manifesto of the Dutch Partij voor de Vrijheid (PVV):

Geen geld meer naar ontwikkelingshulp, windmolens, kunst, innovatie, omroep, enz.

which means

No money anymore to development aid, wind mills, art, innovation, public broadcasting, etc.

Knowing the PVV as a populist right party, I am not surprised they oppose public funding for development aid, wind mills, art, or public broadcasting. But I am surprised to find innovation in this list (and quite wonder what's in etc. — perhaps Gesundes Volksempfinden will tell us?), as stimulating small innovative business is often something both left and right can agree with.

Are there any public statements from the PVV on why it opposes public funding for innovation?

  • 1
    The common political parlance in US is "government picking the winners" - basically, there's a difference made between general purpose grants (e.g. DARPA/NSF) and things like subsidizing Solyndra etc.... I wonder if the Dutch government has similar different ways to pay for innovations - if so, it would make sense that more "right" party opposes the latter but not the former.
    – user4012
    Commented May 30, 2017 at 20:59

1 Answer 1


The full party program is only about one sheet of paper. It doesn't elaborate what exactly is intended with "innovation", much less why it's on that list.

I can't find a conclusive reference which elaborates on that specific bullet point "innovation", but I did find this document on the PVV website. It doesn't specify an origin, but the phrasing makes it clear it's from a speech in the parliament (although I can't seem to find that exact text on the parliament's website).

At any rate, it establishes that the PVV finds innovation important and that it's a key factor in the success of Western-Europe and the Netherlands. But it also opposes long-lived innovation subsidies, because:

  • it makes the receivers lazy;
  • costs a lot of money to determine who is eligible and control if subsidies are used according to the rules;
  • subsidies create an zero-sum industry, which does nothing except give advice on how to get as much subsidy as possible;
  • creates systems which is not easily accessible for "outsiders";
  • creates a lot of complicated rules which are a burden especially for innovative startups.

So it would seem that the PVV is not "against innovation" (at least not in general terms, outside of their anti-environmentalism), but rather "against innovation subsidies". It also mentions how the PVV plans to encourage innovation:

  • "lowering taxes, lowering taxes, lowering taxes";
  • stop with the "climate madness which is devouring billions";
  • stop with mass immigration;
  • stop giving money to Brussels, Greece, Cyprus, and the Dutch Antilles;
  • stop development aid;
  • stop throwing around subsidies
  • stop "nonsense expenses" and "leftist hobbies".

Frankly, I'm not sure how many of these points really relate to encouraging innovation, but it's in the document. The strongest focus is on lowering taxes though.

A second source is this CPB report, which states that "PVV proposes to drop all existing fiscal innovation facilities".

I wasn't able to find anything about "innovation" in the previous (more conventional/elaborate) party program.

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