Dutch government resigns over child welfare fraud scandal
The Dutch government has resigned amid a scandal that saw thousands of families wrongly accused of child welfare fraud.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced the Cabinet's resignation in an address Friday, saying that responsibility for the scandal "ultimately rests with the incumbent Cabinet and nowhere else."
Under the scandal, around 10,000 families in the Netherlands were told to repay tens of thousands of euros of subsidies after being wrongly accused of child welfare fraud.
Rutte made his speech in the aftermath of the publication of a report by the Parliamentary Interrogation Committee on Childcare Allowance, which he called "very tough, but fair."
"On all levels throughout the political-administrative-legal system, mistakes have been made that have resulted in great injustice to thousands of parents," he remarked.
The Dutch premiere was clear that financial compensation for the affected parents is "the first thing that needs to be properly arranged."
"We will continue to work on quick compensation and the improvements needed for the future."
Elections for a new government will take place in mid-March he announced, saying that until then, the current administration will stay on and "can be expected to do what is necessary for the national interest."
Rutte has been in power for over a decade, taking charge in October 2010. If his party wins the election in two months, he will be able to form a new administration.
Addressing the Dutch people, Rutte said "our fight against the coronavirus continues."