Thousands of families were accused of fraud and people were on the verge of bankruptcy. The government, after apologizing, has sent the victims €30,000 in compensation and is preparing to resign.
A scandal erupted in the Netherlands, which will result in the government’s decision to resign on Friday, January 15. Tax authorities falsely accused thousands of parents of fraudulently claiming child care benefits, leaving many families in debt, The Guardian writes.
In December, for example, a report from MPs Unprecedented Injustice was published. It contained details of the investigation following the childcare allowance scandal. Even Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte was questioned publicly.
The document said that the Dutch tax authority “violated fundamental principles of the rule of law” and that the investigation into the fraud against families was initiated by “such a simple thing as an administrative error, without any malicious intent.”
It is noted that some 20,000 families have been prosecuted in the courts for fraud. Families were owed child support while being denied the right to appeal. All the events took place beginning in 2012.
Because of unfair claims of tens of thousands of euros, some families were threatened with complete bankruptcy. At the same time, people were accused of fraud, who could have filled out the form incorrectly or failed to sign it.
The authorities have already apologized for the tax authorities’ actions. In March 2020, more than 500 million euros of compensation was sent, that’s about 30 thousand euros for each affected family.
The Dutch Minister of Social Affairs, Lodewijk Ascher, who was Minister of Social Affairs in the previous government, has already resigned in connection with the scandal. He denies, however, that he knew that the tax authorities were “mistakenly tracking thousands of families.”
Rutte opposes the dissolution of the current coalition but does not rule it out.
Earlier it became known that Amsterdam will be banned to sell marijuana to tourists. The mayor of the Dutch capital Femke Halsema said that lovers of light drugs regularly cause inconvenience to local residents.