Over 5,000 Amsterdam parents said they were victims in the tax office profiling scandal
More than 5,000 parents who reside in Amsterdam have filed a report saying they were victims of the government's benefits scandal, said Aldermen Marjolein Moorman (Poverty and Debt Relief) and Rutger Groot Wassink (Social Affairs) in a letter to the city council which was published on Wednesday
In the benefits scandal, a large group of parents were wrongly regarded as fraudsters by the national government, and ethnically diverse parents were targeted with greater frequency. As a result, they had to repay the huge amounts they received in past benefit payouts. Many of them wound up in significant trouble as a result, either losing their home, seeing relationships fall apart, and in some cases, children were removed from the home. In Amsterdam, about 35 families where the parents were victims resulted in the children being placed out of the home, an issue which is still ongoing.
At the end of 2020, it was estimated that there would be approximately 1,700 victims in Amsterdam. At the moment about fifteen to twenty new parents have registered in Amsterdam every month. Of the group of parents who have reported, more than 3,000 indicated that they need help. Neighborhood teams from the municipality will provide assistance to them. This support is long-term, and according to the aldermen, the so-called "recovery operation" will at least last for their entire term of office, until 2026.
It is not yet known how many of them will actually be recognized as victims by the UHT, the organization set up to review individual cases, the letter stated. "We do receive figures from UHT of the number of Amsterdam parents who, after assessment, appear not to have been swindled. This is currently a small group, because a large number of parents are in the process of integral assessment or are waiting for this."
Last Friday, State Secretary Aukje de Vries, who handles the benefits portfolio for the Cabinet, told the Tweede Kamer that about half of the people who reported as themselves as victims were determined not to be victims of the scandal. In that case they are not entitled to compensation. In total, about 57,400 parents have reported to the UHT thus far.
People have until the end of next year to file a claim with the UHT if they believe they were cheated.
Reporting by ANP