Council of State concerned compensation scheme for child benefits scandal victims will fail
The Council of State said the Cabinet's plan for compensating the victims of the child benefits scandal lacks coordination, NRC reported. The Council of State feared that there will be problems with compensating the victims which will decrease the trust in the State.
In an unpublished statement, the top governmental advisory body cautioned the Cabinet not to make hasty promises which cannot be kept due to a lack of legal standing. "The redemption process has become too complex," the newspaper quoted the Council of State as writing. This will lead to a further problem that “the intended speed” to repair the situation “is becoming increasingly out of reach."
The Dutch tax authorities wrongly accused thousands of parents of being fraudsters, often based on their ethnicity or nationality, for more than a decade. The parents were forced to immediately repay money they received in child benefits in one go, often amounting to many thousands of euros. This left the parents with serious financial problems, while simultaneously cutting them off from future benefits.
The third Cabinet of Prime Minister Mark Rutte resigned in January after a highly critical report on the child benefits scandal was released. The victims of the scandal will receive 30 thousand euros in compensation, the Cabinet decided.
Municipalities fear that compensation will be delayed again because the details of the plan were not fully thought out. At the end of September, more than 47 thousand parents reported themselves as victims of the child benefits scandal; many more than initially anticipated.
Only 546 parents said they were satisfied with the 30 thousand euros, NRC reported.
Earlier this week, a report from Statistics Netherlands showed that more than 1,100 children were removed from the care of their parents who were victims of the benefits scandal.