October 12, 2021
The Netherlands needs to overhaul its legislation, implementation and case law if it is to prevent another childcare benefit scandal, according to a confidential report by the European human rights organisation, the Council of Europe. The report, seen by Trouw and RTL Nieuws, was compiled by the Council’s Venice Commission at the request of MPs following the scandal in which thousands of families were wrongly accused of defrauding the tax office. They were then ordered to pay back benefits, causing many acute financial problems. The fallout from the scandal eventually brought about the collapse of the government in January this year. In particular, a culture of holding back information and frustrating attempts at information gathering by MPs representing parties in the coalition government came in for particular criticism.