Dutch government resigns over childcare subsidies scandal

Stephanie van den Berg, Reuters

Posted at Jan 15 2021 09:58 PM

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy. Piroschka van de Wouw, Reuters/File Photo


THE HAGUE - Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced the resignation of his government on Friday, accepting responsibility for years of mismanagement of childcare subsidies, which wrongfully drove thousands of families to financial ruin.

Rutte said he had handed his resignation to King Willem-Alexander. The cabinet would remain in place in a caretaker capacity to manage the coronavirus crisis for now, with an election already due on March 17.

The resignation follows a parliamentary inquiry last month that found bureaucrats at the tax service had wrongly accused families of fraud.

The inquiry report said around 10,000 families had been forced to repay tens of thousands of euros of subsidies, in some cases leading to unemployment, bankruptcies and divorces, in what it called an "unprecedented injustice".