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Netherlands: Scandal over family allowances

In the Netherlands, two months before the elections the government resigned. The reason for this was the scandal surrounding the payment of child benefits. Government agencies have groundlessly accused more than 20 thousand parents, most of them — immigrants, in an attempt to deceive the state, demanding from them to reimburse the received additional payments for nursery and kindergarten for the total amount of tens of thousands of euros. Lawyers for the victims claim that this is true institutional racism. As the press points out, resignation alone will not solve the case.

And this is just the lid of the cesspool

A government resignation is not enough, says De Volkskrant columnist Sheila Seetalsing, and calls for an investigation:

“How extensive was this ethnic selection, how long did it last, who was in on it — and who could have stopped it but didn't? ... We are still digging at the surface and are only getting closer to the lid of this cesspool. The Prime Minister probably thinks that by resigning the government he will be able to put an end to this scandal and that everyone will forget about it. He seems to think that now he can give the 'Full throttle' command. It cannot be ruled out, however, that the issue of ethnic selection by the state will be a central theme of the coming election campaign.”

We need to get social again!

In light of this scandal, it is clear that most Dutch people believe it is far more important to fight fraud than to help the poor,” writes NRC Handelsblad columnist Tom-Jean Meijus:

“One could say that Rutte, former [economy] ministers Vibes and [social affairs] Ascher, senior officials, the tax authorities and disregard for the rule of law are to blame for this scandal — most of the arguments are (at least in part) true. ... But this overlooks something important: our country has become ruthless toward those who have failed to ride the wheel of Fortune. One might say that politicians are obliged to set an example. Tread lightly and sensibly towards the faults and failures of others and understand that trust can only be built up if you trust others. Maybe the Dutch just need to take a closer look at themselves in the mirror.

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