Weekers Survives Debate
State Secretary Frans Weekers of Finance has survived the debate about the fraud on benefits. The motion of no confidence against Weekers, submitted by the opposition parties CDA, SP, D66, GroenLinks, PVV, 50Plus and the Party for the Animals, didn’t make it. VVD, PvdA, SGP and ChristenUnie didn’t support the motion.
According to CDA MP Pieter Omzigt has Weekers downplayed the fraud on benefits and can the relationship with the employees at the IRS best be described as a disturbed relationship.
D66 MP Wouter Koolmees says that his relationship with Weekers reached a low. According to PVV MP Roland van Vliet, the State Secretary seems to have ‘little authority to ban the fraud devil’. VVD and PvdA took up for Weekers. They pointed the House members that they are also responsible for the implementation of this fraud sensitive system where the control takes place afterwards.
Weekers received a lot of criticism after a broadcast of Brandpunt at April 21. It was shown that Bulgarian people were receiving large amounts of care and rental fees on behalve of false addresses. Weekers didnt know anything about this until just before the broadcast. During the program he said that he was shocked about the frauding Bulgarians.
During the debate, Weekers emphasized that he absolutely knew something about identity fraud to get benefits. He, however, didn’t know anything about this specific case of the Bulgarians. He stated that he is politically responsible.
Weekers thinks that it is a pity that the discussion concentrates on the question of ‘who knew what, where and when”. In the meantime he already took measures, for some cases, to make it possible to check the identity upfront before paying out the benefits.
At a certain moment it looked as if Weekers got into problems during the debate. He had to admit that he didn’t inform his investigative services that the broadcast would take place. According to the opposition he caused a great deal of damage to the investigative services.
After contacting his employees, the State Secretary could inform the House that the FIOD had indeed been informed about his attendance to the program. The service knew already about this fraud case through YouTube.