Dutch government resigns over child benefits scandal

Dutch government resigns over child benefits scandal
  • Clock-gray 17:25
  • calendar-gray 15 January 2021

The Cabinet has been holding an urgent meeting after it emerged the country's tax office wrongly pursued thousands of families for fraud, APA reports citing DW.

Dutch broadcaster NOS reported Friday that Prime Minister Mark Rutte's government is stepping down after it emerged that officials had wrongly pursued thousands of people over welfare fraud.

Rutte called a Cabinet meeting in The Hague where ministers had to make up their minds on quitting just two months before a planned general election.

Note that the Dutch tax office had accused thousands of families of fraudulently claiming child welfare payments between 2013 and 2019. It demanded repayments of tens of thousands of euros, driving many families into financial ruin and, in some cases, divorce.

A parliamentary report called it an "unprecedented injustice" to claw back tens of thousands of euros without giving the accused a chance to prove their innocence. 

Rutte, who has been prime minister since 2010, described the episode as "shameful."

Zumrud Pashkin

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