Netherlands: Court throws out Feyenoord football club human rights challenge against top salary tax hike

Today, human rights judges declared inadmissible a complaint against a Netherlands austerity budget tax paid by companies on salaries higher than €150,000.

The case of P. Plaisier B.V. v. the Netherlands (application no. 46184/16) and two other applications concerned complaints by three companies about an additional tax which employers had to pay on salaries above 150,000 euros that was part of budget austerity measures approved during an economic crisis.

In its decision in the case, the European Court of Human Rights joined the cases and unanimously declared the application inadmissible. The decision is final.

Financial holding companies P. Plaisier B.V. and D.E.M. Management Services B.V., and professional football club employer, Feyenoord Rotterdam N.V., complained that the tax, approved in 2013 but applied to 2012 salaries, was unforeseeable, unfair and discriminatory.

The court found overall that the decisions taken by the Netherlands had not gone beyond the limit of the discretion allowed to authorities in questions of taxation and had not upset the balance between the general interest and the protection of the companies’ individual rights.

It noted that it had accepted various countries’ austerity measures and that the steps taken by the Netherlands had also been part of the country’s goal to meet obligations under European Union budget rules.

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