Dutch Cabinet Resigns After Scandal

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Mark Rutte hands in his resignation. Source: Remko De Waal/ANP/AFP via Getty Images

By Michael Ge

The entire Dutch Cabinet under the leadership of Prime Minister Mark Rutte have submitted their resignations to King Willem-Alexander. This comes after a report concluded that poor families were unfairly treated over child care benefits and the government failed to protect these families from being targeted. Rutte has served as Prime Minister since 2010 and has served in elected office since 2003.  

The report stated that something as little as an administrative mistake could end up with families getting fined thousands and end up with parents being accused of being fraudsters. Furthermore, Dutch citizens who held dual nationality were also discriminated against by tax inspectors. Finally, the report concluded that the laws were too strict and led to systematic failures.

A group of families that have been affected by the policies have pressed criminal charges against several politicians that could land them, if convicted, of several months in prison. Many families have been destroyed financially because of these policies, forced out of their homes, or worse. Rutte has pledged to reimburse the families affected, but that could be too little and too late.

Although the Cabinet has all submitted their resignations, they will continue to be in office until there is a new government. This is to ensure the orderly function of the Dutch government during this transition. There will be an election scheduled for March 17th. Rutte’s center-right VVD party is the largest party in the House of Representatives, followed by the far-right PVV party led by Geert Wilders. The rest of the House of Representatives is made up of several left-wing, center, and right-wing parties. It remains to be seen how the recent turmoil will affect the upcoming elections.

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