AMSTERDAM Oct 5 Lawmakers are calling on the
Dutch government to seek an end to the European Central Bank's
bond purchasing programmes which they say is driving the
country's pension system towards crisis.
A proposal tabled late on Tuesday by the opposition
Christian Democrat party calls on the Cabinet to rally
like-minded governments such as Germany to try all legal
avenues, including treaty change if necessary, to end the
Pieter Omtzigt, who drafted the proposal, told Reuters he
believes that when Dutch and other European voters begin to see
their pensions cut as a result of the region's ultra-low
interest rates, pressure to abandon the policy will escalate.
"The outcome will be that the ECB in the end will stick to
the role originally seen for it...promoting economic stability
without huge interference in the bond market," he said.
The government was preparing its response on Wednesday.
Despite a ban on political interference on monetary policy,
the proposal has support from both far left and right political
parties in a country whose own Central Bank President -- Klaas
Knot -- has been a dissenting vote on ECB decisions to expand
Dutch pension funds are feeling the pinch of ultra-low or
negative interest rates and falling yields, and in August the
ABP fund, with 379 billion euros in assets under management,
said its coverage ratio had fallen to 89.9 percent, below the 90
percent level at which it would have to cut benefits in 2017.
The country's Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who is
also president of the Eurogroup, was due to respond to the
proposal on Wednesday. ECB President Mario Draghi is due to
appear in the Dutch parliament on Feb. 8 to defend the policy.
(Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Alexander Smith)