Checkout fees crashes, municipalities want to help

The handling of the surcharge affair is completely stuck, as the number of parents reporting is much greater than expected. If it goes on, it could take ten more years for all the victims to leave it behind. The counter now stands at 42,000 parents, with 500 to 1,000 new cases each week.

Money is not the problem, more than EUR 4 billion has been released by the Cabinet for this and next year, but the payment department can‘t handle all the handicraft.

The laborious handling is mainly due to all non-specific measures, warning municipalities. The Cat House Scheme, which promises all affected parents 30,000 euros of compensation, is a whole general scheme that led to more people to sign up for it.

Employees in the payment department who has to deal with all that damage are now particularly busy assessing cases covered by the Cat House Scheme. They can’t handle work.

Stagnation by new flow

โ€œWe have concerns that we cannot help the people we have in view and who are very badly affected,โ€ says Rutger Groot Wassink on behalf of the Association of Dutch Municipalities (VNG). The Amsterdam Alderman of Social Affairs says municipalities have great concerns about the new regulations devised by the government, such as compensation for all ex-partners and children. โ€œThis brings back a rush of people that further complicates implementation.โ€

According to the plan, 8300 parents can close the chapter at the end of this year, their case has been handled. 19,000 parents have now received the 30,000 euros. Whether they are entitled to more is assessed at a later time.

What is the surcharge affair about? CCEit on 3 summarizes it briefly:

Secretary of State Van Huffelen wants a review of how to deal with the handling. What an accelerated handling should look like, she doesn‘t know either. Van Huffelen asks the House to consider a solution, and there is a debate on progress on Thursday.

Duped parents think along

How now? Joรซl Heiner and Lynn Woodrow, two duped parents, have their own ideas on how to do things faster. This week they presented their plans at the ministry.

They propose to divide the victims into multiple categories and engage municipalities for help. What it would yield? โ€œSpeed because the municipalities are close to people.


Heiner and Woodrow’s life has been dominated in recent years by an unfair debt of 80,000 and 30,000 euros respectively. Now they feel called to look ahead. โ€œWe know what parents are experiencing and need,โ€ says Woodrow.

42,000 instead of 9000 cases

Heiner says that the settlement is going so viscous because the system was conceived last year. โ€œThat‘s when it was thought of about 9,000 victims. Now it’s about 42,000 cases. The system doesn‘t fit the number of parents who need to go through it.โ€

Help from municipalities could provide a solution. But then they need more powers. This requires municipalities to have access to the right data.

โ€œThe test whether someone really needs to be compensated, is rightful, needs to be done quickly,โ€ says Groot Wassink. โ€œMunicipalities want to help big, but then we need the right information from the Tax Authorities. That’s really awful now.โ€