Opposition wants explanation from Hoekstra over stake in letterbox firm
Opposition parties in the lower house of Dutch parliament want clarification from caretaker Minister of Finance Wopke Hoekstra (CDA) about the stake he had in a tropical letterbox firm. Henk Nijboer of the PvdA announced on Twitter that he requested a debate.
GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver also wants an explanation from the CDA leader. "It is extremely disturbing news that the name of our Minister of Finance appears in these leaked documents about letterbox firms. We have to get to the bottom of this. He has to answer to parliament next week."
On Sunday, research by Trouw, Het Financieele Dagblad and research platform Investico revealed that Hoekstra had a stake in a letterbox firm in the British Virgin Islands for many years. The Minister himself said on Twitter that he was not aware that a company he invested in twelve years ago was located in the British Virgin Islands. Hoekstra also said that before taking office as Minister, ha had informed the then formateur Mark Rutte about his investment.
The statement raised questions for Nijboer. "Hoekstra denies knowing that the company was located in a tax haven, but did inform Rutte. How is that possible? And about what? I want to know exactly what is going on here," the PvdA parliamentarian tweeted.
Geert Wilders reacted indignantly. "How does it feel to have invested with your letterbox firm in the tax have of the Virgin Islands while years later the victims of the childcare allowance scandal are still waiting for their money?" the PVV leader tweeted.
SP leader Lilian Marijnissen called it no surprise that the "elite operates like this". She wondered how Hoekstra could still be credible as a Minister in tackling tax avoidance.
Reporting by ANP