The Dutch government headed by Mark Rutte announced her resignation after being indicted آAccidentally blamed families for misusing government-provided childcare fundsمطاCure them back.
Later, after coordination with tax officials, the government admitted the mistake that these families, who are mostly from minorities and immigrants, were subjected to, which led some of them to face financial crises.
Rute sent the formal resignation of his government to the king.
“Innocent citizens have been accused and criminalized, and their lives have been destroyed,” Rutte said. He added, in press statements, that the full responsibility rests with his government.
The government’s resignation came at a sensitive time when the country is facing the outbreak of the Corona epidemic. The city of The Hague was planning to impose further lockdown measures and bans on social activity.
According to Dutch law, the government will continue to operate until the parliamentary elections that were previously scheduled for March / Next March, except for Economy Minister Eric Waibes, who resigned immediately due to his direct role in the scandal.
When one of the journalists asked her story whether the resignation of his government was symbolic due to the approaching elections, he replied in the negative, stressing that it was a sense of responsibility.
This is not the first time that the government in the Netherlands has resigned en masse due to a sense of political responsibility.
A previous government resigned in 2002 after the publication of a report criticizing the performance of ministers and the failure of the Dutch army to prevent the slaughter of Muslims in the city of Srebrenica in 1995, during the civil war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Dutch forces operating within the international peace-keeping forces in Bosnia were responsible for protecting the unarmed Muslims in the city, but they failed to fulfill their mission, which allowed Serbian militias to storm the city and commit massacres against Muslim civilians.
Analysis Anna Holligan – BBC Correspondent – لاهاي
Parents were surprised to accuse them of financial corruption as a result of simple mistakes such as not signing the papers they submitted to request support for their children, and they were later forced to pay tens of thousands of euros to the government while not giving them the right to remedy the matter. According to one of the ministers of the resigned government, “they were forced to pay the money.”
Families were subjected to financial devastation due to the actions of the state’s administrative apparatus, which has become “an enemy of the citizens.” Family relations were damaged under the financial burden. Some families have been forced to lose their homes. Mothers talked about their financial troubles, crying in front of the media cameras.
Many families complained of financial problems and pressures that led to psychological crises after they were targeted by tax officials.
Last year, tax officials admitted that 11,000 people had faced additional checks for having another nationality with Dutch citizenship.
This reinforced the belief prevailing among the various ethnic minorities in the Netherlands that they are subjected to systematic and institutionalized negative discrimination by the authorities.
Although some view the government’s resignation as an assessment of responsibility for the failure, some argue that it was aimed at avoiding a vote of no-confidence by Parliament next week.
What did parents say?
The scandal began in 2012. The number of fathers affected by it could reach more than 26,000 people, some of them openly calling for the resignation of the government after the matter was revealed, stressing that they had lost confidence in it and in its ability to reform the tax system.
A mother, as a result of a mistake in the tax system, was exposed to a tax claim for an amount exceeding 48,000 euros. And when she tried to explain to them something wrong, tax officials stopped the government aid she was getting entirely, not just child support aid.
Due to the loss of government aid, she was unable to pay the rent for the house that used to shelter her and her children. She was unable to pay her bills and the Electricity and Gas Company cut her energy supply before she was fired and failed to get another job because society was seen as having misused the child benefit system and got paid unlawfully.
As the pressure accumulated on her, her relationship with her children collapsed due to the psychological crisis that resulted from that.
“There are government officials who allowed the scandal to happen and continue and tried to cover it up,” said one of the parents.
Opinion polls show ahead of the March 17 parliamentary elections / Next March, the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, led by Rute, is very popular, so it is likely that Rute, who has headed 3 previous governments since 2010, can form the next government as well.
Although Ruteh initially rejected the government’s resignation, the move became necessary, especially after the resignation of Ludwig Ascher, the leader of the opposition Labor Party in Parliament, as a reaction to the scandal, especially as he was serving as Minister of Social Affairs in the resigned coalition government.
The ruling coalition, led by Rute, was made up of 4 parties, led by the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, which tops opinion polls, followed by the far-right Geert Wilders, which is hostile to Muslims and minorities.
Parent and child victims of the scandal filed a formal complaint against both current and former officials.
The government will pay compensation of at least 30,000 euros to each aggrieved father. But parents assert that the compensation is not sufficient.
Before the resignation of the government, Sigrid Kaag, leader of the Liberal Party, said, “It is important that the government take political responsibility for everything that happened and the injustice suffered by the parents.”
Finance Minister Alexandra van Hoffelin said that children affected by the scandal should also receive care “so that they can continue their lives normally.”