Dutch government resigns after ‘child welfare fraud’ scandal


The entire Dutch government has resigned.

The entire Dutch government has resigned amidst a scandal that resulted in thousands of families wrongfully accused of child welfare fraud.

Mark Rutte, the Dutch Prime Minister, announced the mass resignation of his government during a Friday address to the public. He candidly took full responsibility for the incident laying the blame squarely on his government. The announcement by Rutte comes after the publication of a report by the Parliamentary Interrogation Committee on Childcare Allowance. 

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10,000 families across the Netherlands were wrongfully accused of child welfare fraud and forced into paying tens of thousands in euro subsidies. In some instances, cases of racial profiling were evident. Many of the families affected went into bankruptcies, unemployment, and divorce as a result of those measures. 

As part of his public address, Rutte called for compensation of those parents for their loss and sufferings. The Dutch premiere is the leader of the liberal People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy and offered his resignation from the position to King Willem-Alexander. 

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Rutte has held power for two decades, officially taking charge in October. If his party clinches the election in the coming two months, he can still form the next government. Meanwhile, he said that the fight against Covid-19 continues. 

This week, two other European countries have experienced political disarray. In Estonia, the government resigned over a corruption scandal, while in Italy, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s ruling coalition is about to fall after one small party buckled out. 

Elections for a new government will take place in Mid-March while the current administration stays on. 

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