Follow the messages from political reporter Leon Brandsema at the bottom of this article.
Snel, who resigned last year due to the affair, indicates during his interrogation on Wednesday afternoon that he was not informed about the problem when he took office. With regard to childcare allowance, his handover concerned only the plan that the previous cabinet already had to replace the allowance with direct financing for childcare. In the first instance, Snel also had ‘not so much’ consultations with his top civil servants about the childcare allowance. “Because there seemed no reason to. Later that changed. ”
Snel now sees what went wrong with regard to benefits. “The core of what goes wrong with Toeslagen is that a system has been built without a drop of human scale,” he says. Snel points out that there was no room at Supplements to call a colleague who has similar problems: “That was never built in.” He calls the response of the Tax Authorities to the problems ‘too defensive’.
‘Multitude of problems’
Tamara van Ark, in turn, saw a ‘multitude of problems’ surrounding the childcare allowance when she took office as State Secretary for Social Affairs in 2017, she says in her interrogation Wednesday morning. But the biggest problem, the ‘all-or-nothing approach’ to recovery, has not been clear enough for her.
Van Ark, now Minister for Medical Care, regrets what happened. She said this in the Lower House on Wednesday morning during her interrogation about the benefits affair. In it, tens of thousands of parents were duped by their own government. One of the causes: in case of a small mistake, parents must immediately repay large amounts in benefits
Minister Tamara van Ark (Medical Care) during an earlier meeting in the Lower House.
Ⓒ Dutch Height / ANP
In the podcast Kwestie van Centen, Herman Stam and parliamentary reporter Leon Brandsema discuss what came to light in the benefits affair after the first interview:
But according to Van Ark, she will not receive any of this when she took office at the start of the Rutte III cabinet in October 2017. “I would have liked to know about that, that could have prevented a lot of suffering from parents,” she says on Wednesday morning. Until last summer, Van Ark was, as State Secretary of Social Affairs, responsible for policy and legislation regarding childcare (surcharge).
Van Ark explains how when she took office she was already confronted with the problems about people with large debts, and that these are also caused by substantial refunds of benefits. The VVD minister also regularly talks about it with her top civil servants. These conversations concern causes such as the advance payment system or the late determination of someone’s income around the benefits. But not about the all-or-nothing approach. Van Ark: “I missed the first exit.”
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