Delayed benefits payments being investigated

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State Secretary of Finances, Frans Weekers, promised Parliament Wednesday evening to investigate the mass processing by the Tax department, and to keep the House informed weekly of how many people are still waiting for their benefits to be paid out.

Weekers has come under fire after the tax department fell short in verifying necessary information according to new regulations, and process benefits payments in a timely matter.

New regulations dictate only one account may be used for payment of benefits, to minimize chances of fraud. The Tax department had to verify all information before payouts, but sustained a . The department then froze payments of rent and healthcare benefits to a large number of people, because they couldn't keep up.

Just last week the State Secretary brushed off the criticism by telling NOS the people who were affected were to blame for it themselves, because they had not responded in a timely matter to the review requests of the tax department. However, many were not to blame, because the tax department was, and still is, overwhelmed by the massive amount of data it needs to verify.

Weekers apologized earlier to people who did respond in time, but ran into problems at the tax department. The State Secretary is very displeased with the fact that his officials did not inform him in time of the situation.

Weekers consented to the proposal of PvdA MP Henk Nijboer to supply Parliament with a weekly status update on the situation, which surprised many MP's, since they feel the State Secretary willingly legally restrained himself.

The question remains whether State Secretary will be confronted with another motion of censure. Last year he barely survived a motion of censure in be matter of the Bulgarian fraud.