Injured parents in the allowance affair will have to wait in the coming months, and in other cases up to 2021, before they are compensated and receive compensation. State Secretary Alexandra van Huffelen (Finance) said on Wednesday in a parliamentary debate that it would rather provide clarity today than tomorrow, but blames the slow handling of the “complexity” of the various files. Part of the House fears legal proceedings over many years.
“Apologies came a year ago. We are a year further and nothing has been resolved yet”, says Henk Nijboer (PvdA). SP member Renske Leijten: “Are you generous, or are your parents sending in a legal quagmire?”
On Tuesday, the Tax and Customs Administration informed thousands of parents that they are not eligible for the compensation and compensation scheme for victims of childcare allowance affairs.
“Donner did a bad job”
The advisory committee led by former minister and former vice president of the Council of State Piet Hein Donner proposed a compensation scheme that the cabinet has taken over, but it now appears that many potentially duped parents are at risk of being left out.
For the other part of the parents who seem to be entitled to compensation, the House fears the same disaster scenario as in Groningen, where victims of the earthquake damage have been involved in years of legal proceedings. Leijten: “Donner did a bad job.”
Leijten thinks that the cabinet should no longer take the report of the advisory committee as a starting point, as it appears that many parents are not eligible and long procedures are ahead.
“Do corona support quickly, but not for duped parents”
The PvdA, GroenLinks, Denk and PvdD are also critical of Donner and want clarity for the parents more quickly. “Billions are now going to corona support companies. Why can we help tens of thousands of entrepreneurs quickly, but cannot for parents with debts?” Says Lammert van Raan (PvdD).
Although State Secretary Van Huffelen said she could understand the impatience, she insisted on carefulness. “I’m doing my best, but it’s incredibly complex.” The fact that parents report who have not complied with the rules must also be assessed. The minister does not want a deadline, as the PvdA raised. “I can’t make promises I can’t keep.
Chamber looking for those responsible for fraud treatment
In addition to questions about the compensation scheme, the House is also looking for who is responsible for the tax authorities’ brutal and unlawful approach to fraud, which left thousands of parents in serious financial difficulties. PVV, CDA, D66, GroenLinks, SP and DENK, among others, want to see the role played by the previous cabinet. In particular, the actions of the former Minister of Social Affairs and current PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher are under a magnifying glass.
Research from Follow the Money it appeared that the previous cabinet had received warnings from the Tax Authorities from 2014, because the tough fraud approach would have serious consequences. Asscher, but also then Secretary of State for Finance Eric Wiebes, were alleged to have been informed of gross misconduct as a result of the policy.
“If Asscher had done his job, we could have prevented a lot of misery”, Bart Snels (GroenLinks). D66 is also critical. “We need to know what happened five years ago,” said Steven van Weyenberg. CDA member Pieter Omtzigt wants to know exactly how the controversial fraud approach came about and who came up with it. “As a Member of Parliament, I must be able to check this.”
Last week, Secretary of State Alexandra van Huffelen (Finance) announced that the Ministry of Finance is filing a complaint against its own tax authorities, because of suspicions of professional discrimination and gagery.
Because involved officials may face criminal prosecution, it is important, according to Omtzigt, that clarity comes from whose roots the fight against fraud has come.
SP argues for a declaration against the Rutte II cabinet
SP member Leijten already clearly sees the hand of the previous administration team in the policy. She pleads for a declaration against the Rutte II cabinet. Leijten thinks that the House should take control of the file with a parliamentary inquiry in which all the main protagonists involved have to answer under oath. GroenLinks argues for the milder variant: the parliamentary questioning. That investigation can be started more quickly.
“I hate that we don’t get political accountability upstairs,” said Snels. He also believes that it is up to the House of Representatives to force the relevant top officials and ministers to go to the Survey Hall.
There does not yet seem to be a majority in the House for that.