Mark Rutte’s third Cabinet was dissolved this morning, two months before the Dutch elections
Translated by Thomas Ansell
As reported by the NOS, the Dutch government fell apart this morning following a critical report into the handling of the ‘benefit claim affair’. The coalition of Rutte’s VVD, the CDA, D66; and ChristenUnie has officially been given the status of ‘outgoing’ and will assume only a caretaker role in affairs. Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs has resigned altogether, and will no longer play and role.
The cabinet’s decision was prompted by a damning report into the so-called ‘toeslagen affaire’. This saw the Dutch tax office aggressively pursue large numbers of families that had claimed the child care benefit Kinderopvangtoeslag, wrongly believing that they had been overpaid. The Belastingdienst targeted families with legal action, and tended to pursue migrant families the most aggressively. Ex-Minister Wiebes, who also signed off widescale fracking in the North during his time in office came in for particularly harsh criticism for this role in the affair.
The Dutch government will continue to work on Coronavirus-related issues, with Tweede Kamer elections due to be held in March as previously planned to decide on a new government.