Tuesday, May 19, 2015 - 17:13
Ministry: Tax office to shed up to 5,000 jobs
A pending reorganization at the Dutch tax authority Belastingdienst will likely result in the elimination of 4,000 to 5,000 jobs. The staff cuts are due to improvements to computer systems that reduced the need for many spot checks done by workers, reports broadcaster NOS. Improvements to information technology infrastructure will lead to better data analysis, and thus more accurate tax assessments, sources told NOS. This should not only reduce the amount of tax evasion, but also increase the amount of tax revenue received by anywhere from hundreds of millions to billions of euros every year. The Ministry of Finance confirmed the news to Nu.nl after the story broke on NOS. "We knew that the government was working on an investment agenda for the tax authorities," said Loek Schueler, spokesperson for labour union CNV. "But for CNV 'investing' always means there is a need to invest in people." Finance Secretary Eric Wiebes has argued repeatedly against the current setup at the Belastingdienst, saying it is over-complicated for many citizens and businesses, essentially rendering it obsolete. Wiebes also pushed for the tax office to stop physically mailing out the iconic blue envelopes in favor of a more digitized solution. Those out of a job might get reassigned to another government office. The tax office currently employs an estimated 28,000 people, the authority says.