by Essi Koskela
18 Nov 2021. “We in the Netherlands like insurances, we don’t like to be surprised.” – Tim Dircken
In the third part of the tíc financial webinar series, a small audience gathered in front of their laptops to hear about a subject that even the presenter named as his least favorite on the financial series: Insurances in the Netherlands.
Starting with the main message, the Dutch insurances don’t differ that much from other countries and pretty much anything can be insured. We covered the basics in about half an hour and then proceeded into an engaged Q&A session, where participants got the chance to get their fears professionally assessed from a financial perspective. Speaking on the behalf of participants, we were positively surprised by how interesting the webinar was.
18 March 2021. by Anne-Lise Artaud. We had a very lovely evening around a hot topic for us expat. How to raise multilingual children? This subject was presented and all our questions answered by an experienced researcher that has herself personal experience on this matter. It was very interesting to learn about the flexibility and resilience of children that from a young age are able to learn and retain different languages.
Language forms part of our identity
The Netherlands is a country that welcomes a large number of immigrants and expats, making it a very culturally rich and diverse nation. A part of this cultural diversity is the great variety of languages spoken both inside and outside the home. And, language forms an important part of who we are.
28 Jan 2021. by Val Fraser. In times of lockdown and loads of negative news, getting a notification about Dutch Taxes would usually be the straw that broke the camel’s back! But this was not how I felt when I was advised that tíc was arranging a workshop on dutch taxes. In fact, the worst thing about taxes, would be paying too much or getting fined!
Tim Dircken, fellow tíc member and financial advisor from Dircken and Partners Financial Services, kindly took us through the Dutch tax regulations and obligations, answering all our intelligent (or not) questions with patience and simplicity.
This webinar was the first of a series of finance-related series focused on Dutch income tax, subsidies and specific arrangements for expats. (more…)
We were happy to have Annebet from New2NL.com to give us an introduction to the Dutch school system. We had a great session with lots of great questions about Dutch education for young children.
We had a Zoom call that covered all kinds of early education topics including, educational philosophies (Waldorf/Steiner, Montessori, Dalton, etc.), preschools, how to apply to the schools, special needs education, programs for gifted children, schools for newcomers and much more. Attendees had the opportunity to learn more about how to find a suitable schools, understanding the options and the philosophy of before and after school child care.
Prior to the webinar, members were able to submit questions that Annebet answered during the call including:
- How to keep an eye on progress of your child without knowing Dutch.
- How we can help our child in his study/homework without knowing Dutch.
- When to register for basisschool?
On March 8th , shortly before the Dutch were due to go to the polls, Hein van Oorschot, formerly the
Mayor of Delft, gave an excellent TIC Talk on the Dutch electoral process. Today, the day following
Theresa May’s comeuppance, here’s what I remember: The main law making body, the House of
Representatives, is the Tweede Kamer (Second Chamber). Representatives are not elected to it by
gerrymandered district like in GB and the US, but instead nationwide and at large. You choose a
candidate from a tiny-tiny- print list, although in fact, your vote will go to the political party of which the candidate is a member – except in the case of Wilders as he is the sole member of the Party for Freedom (pretty name, not so pretty party). All the votes for every qualifying candidate are tallied. This total is divided by 150, the number of seats in the chamber, with each party receiving its proportionate share. The parties send the representatives from their list in the order they appear on the Ballot. (There are
complex rules to determine who gets leftover votes — there being no partial seat.)
Unlike the British first-past- the-post system and the American Electoral College one, both of which are virtual road blocks to smaller political parties, the Dutch proportional system encourages a proliferation of parties. Last March there were 28 of them on the ballot, including ‘50 PLUS’ that looks after the interests of pensioners, and ‘D66’ founded by a group of young intellectuals. (Much to my chagrin there is no party for pensioned intellectuals.) With such an extensive menu of parties to choose from, it is almost impossible for any one party to get a majority sufficient for passing laws by itself, so the parties have to negotiate with one another to form a coalition. The bargaining typically proceeds at a leisurely pace—talks are still going on now, three months after the election. Winner-take- all systems lead to things like Brexit, but the need to form a coalition and to then to keep it intact by getting along with the other partners means that in the Netherlands extreme parties are usually frozen out. The chances of Nexit were probably about the same as in this age of global warming there ever being another Elf-Steden Tocht ice skating race, that is, when Hell freezes over.