Ministry halts more generous compensation for scandal victims

Aukje de Vries says the method needs adjusting. Photo: RVD – Valerie Kuypers en Martijn Beekman
Aukje de Vries, staatssecretaris Toeslagen en Douane Beeld: ©RVD – Valerie Kuypers en Martijn Beekman

The finance ministry has called a temporary halt to a system for compensating people caught up in the childcare benefit scandal which was devised by a foundation headed by princess Laurentien.

The decision was taken at Friday’s cabinet meeting, with officials saying that while the system is fast and personal, it is also very expensive. The new method allows parents to tell their story and a compensation amount is worked out, based on standard elements such as a divorce caused by stress.

Two weeks ago broadcaster NOS said the total compensation package to families affected by the scandal could reach as much as €9 billion. The method devised by the charity during the trial has resulted in an average €128,000 in compensation for duped families, on top of other compensation that is due to them.

In a statement on Friday, the finance ministry said the focus would be on improving existing methods and making changes to the system used by Laurentien’s foundation before it would be implemented more widely.

“After that, the intention is to continue the project,” junior finance minister Aukje de Vries told reporters after the cabinet meeting. She says what has become known as the “Laurentien method” will cost an additional €3.1 billion in compensation.

The princess took the very unusual step of commenting on the situation in a video message to the scandal victims on Thursday evening, saying that the foundation will keep on working on their behalf. “I have deep respect for your patience given this inhuman uncertainty,” she said in the video. “The foundation will not give up.”

Her husband Constantijn has also been quick to defend his wife’s foundation, saying on social media two weeks ago when the story first broke that the situation is “like Groningen”.

“In what sort of world are we living in if a high payout to victims is seen as a ‘financial hit’ but not the massive cost of consultants and experts who are trying to trivialise the damage they have suffered.”

Categories: Big Brother, Dutch News, Politics
Anton Nieuwenhuizen

Written by:Anton Nieuwenhuizen All posts by the author

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