Gov't overpays €430m in childcare subsidies

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The Netherlands treasury believes that €60 million has disappeared due to mistakes and fraud in childcare subsidies. These mistakes have cost €443 million, BN De Stem writes. 

Some hundreds of thousands of households in The Netherlands received more subsidy funds from the state than they were allowed between the period of 2009 and 2012. This amounts to €433 million.

The Tax Administration Service will ask one in three subsidy recipients for a reclamation. In this way, the money lost to fraud and mistakes is hoped to be paid back. The Tax Administration says that €2500 has to be paid back on average. In some cases, however, it is about higher figures, even up to €150,000.

These exorbitant amounts are calculated on the basis of income. The reclamation is the consequence of false information placed on forms. People's incomes are often higher than estimated, making the subsidy too high.

The treasury does not expect to win back all the money, however, and has estimated that €60 million is probably lost. The remaining €373 million could still be claimed back.

State Secretary Eric Wiebes of Finance has proposed measures to prevent future mistakes or fraud leading to losses of money. From 2016, the government subsidies should no longer go to parents, but straight to childcare institutions. This doe not, however, avoid the chance that parents fill wrong information on the application forms.