Much less confidence in Dutch politics after allowance scandal, stalling formation
Netherlands residents' confidence in politics plummeted over the past months. In October last year, two thirds of the population gave the Dutch government a passing grade. By April of this year, that dropped to 46 percent, social and cultural planning office SCP said in a report. Parliament has slightly more trust at 52 percent.
The stalled cabinet formation process and the childcare allowance scandal were often mentioned when the SCP asked why people lost confidence in the cabinet. The SCP could not yet say whether the impact of this will be permanent.
Three and a half months after the parliamentary election, formation negotiations haven't even started yet, because no combination of parties could be found that would have a majority in parliament and were willing to work together. The childcare allowance scandal left thousands of parents in financial difficulties after they were wrongly labeled fraudsters by the Tax Authority and resulted in the Rutte III cabinet stepping down.
The coronavirus pandemic had a great deal of influence on trust in Dutch politicians. At the start of the pandemic, shortly after the first measures against the spread of the virus were implemented, confidence in the cabinet increased to well above 70 percent in April 2020. "Immediately after an external crisis and threat, people often (temporarily) have much more confidence in political institutions," the SCP said. In January 2020, before the pandemic, about half of Netherlands residents gave the government a passing grade.
The coronavirus pandemic is still on people's minds, with 37 percent of the population being concerned about the virus. That decreased significantly from the 62 percent concerned in April last year, largely due to the vaccination campaign giving hope that the Netherlands would soon return to a normal life.