Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Hague, Netherlands: Parliament Buildings (Binnenhof) + Wealth Tax

I have been here, rather passed by Binnenhof, which is the Dutch name for the Parliament buildings, a few times. This is the heart of Dutch politics. The first time I was here was a decade and a half ago when I was visiting the Dutchman in the Netherlands as a tourist.

Oh, I still have the (pre-digital) picture of me with the buildings in my back =)

Trivia: Did you know that this is the oldest House of Parliament in the world that is still in use?

I won’t go through the history details about this grand 13th century government building but if you are interested here are a few helpful links:

Anyway the only thing I can say is that a large portion of my money (tax) goes here!

In this country, we get taxed on EVERYTHING. And taxes are not cheap here. Even when you elect not to spend your money which is already taxed by the way (Income Tax), you still pay 1.2% tax on it every year. You pay this additional tax when you have savings above €24,437 as of 2016 (thus €24,437 is not taxable). It’s called the Wealth Tax.

My question is -- Since when is having €24K++ makes you wealthy? I would understand if they raise the figure to, say, €500K, or even €200K.... but only €24K++ non-taxable??? Are you kidding me? We do not even earn interest on our savings anymore! Having money will cost you money in this country.

If you have investments or have saved a lot of money -- hard earned money from your own sweat, blood, heartaches, work stress, career frustrations and all, you will have to pay the price for living in this country. It is absurd to pay additional taxes on money that has been previously levied, but that is how it is here in the Netherlands.

I do wonder if other countries have this kind of wealth taxation as well? I would love to know.

And with all the sundry of political confusion that has been engulfing Europe right now, and here in the Netherlands as well, there is only one fact that stands out: You can never trust politicans. Not with your money. Not with your future. Not with your life.

Entering the Binnenhof. It is open for everyone to visit.

The building in the centre is the Ridderzaal (Hall of Knights). This is where the King of the Netherlands delivers his speech to the Dutch Senate and House of Representatives during Prinsjesdag, the official kick-off day of the Parliament.

It was a beautiful day when Dutchman and I were here last week. We sat on the bench here and ate our sandwiches and fed the birds.

The small tower is the office of the Prime Minister of the Netherlands. The lower right building is the Mauritshuis, a museum which is the owner of the famous painting of  Johannes Vermeer, Girl with the Pearl Earring.

The Dutch Houses of Parliament from the lake. Isn't she just stunning? If you visit the Netherlands, do visit The Hague. It is approximately 50 minutes train ride from Amsterdam.

The statue of a The Hague woman across the lake looks like Princess Beatrix (former Queen Beatrix). You can also see the Dutch Prime Minister's office tower.

On this bridge you will find the flags of the 12 provinces of the Netherlands.

Travel Period: August 2016
Destination: The Hague (South Holland), the Netherlands

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Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

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