Several victims of the payment affair have been told this week that they have to pay private debts further. Creditors thus oppose the appeal of State Secretary van Huffelen (D66) of Finance to private creditors, such as energy companies and housing corporations, to cancel debts of the victims.
One of the victims might be told in court last Tuesday that her legal debt restructuring would end. But the session was suspended at the last minute. The reason is that the victim may receive EUR 30,000 and the government withdraws as a creditor, a new situation has arisen.
Loosely translated: the bald chicken had become less bald, so there might be some more to pick. Due to the postponement, the victim stays longer in the remediation scheme. That means she has to live on a minimum living allowance, the rest of her income goes through the administrator to creditors. According to guilt experts, this course of action is a direct consequence of Van Huffelens statements.
This victim of the payment affair tells us how she gets into trouble:
The Secretary of State said hed cancel all government debts on Monday. In this way, she would offer the victims a clean slate. But some of the victims do not notice much of that. A plan that the majority of the victims could have quickly produced a clean slate, pushed aside the Secretary of State at the eleventh hour.
This plan was developed in the Working Group on Recovery and Debt, which was commissioned by the Cabinet to solve the debt problems for the victims. The working group drew up covenants with large creditors. In addition, up to 20,000 of the 30,000 euro compensation money would be used to pay off debts.
The rest, at least 10,000 euros, would fall completely free as starting capital for the parents who have been affected. In this way, according to the working group, at least 80% of the affected people could be helped quickly. For the rest, customization was needed. The plan was, say participants in the working group, except for a hair finished. Large private creditors joined behind it.
Not legally sustainable
Last Friday, BBWs administrator organization turned against the plan. The organisation feared that it was not legally sustainable and that creditors could still get the exempted EUR 10,000. In addition, the money that parents receive would soon be returned to the Tax Administration, one of the largest creditors. The directors called on Van Huffelen to cross all debts of the victims to the Tax Administration, which she did last Monday.
Then Van Huffelen, in an online meeting, called on large creditors, just like the government, to remove the debts. Participants in this meeting say they have been completely overwhelmed by the request of the Secretary of State. It is now clear that none of the parties wants to cancel all debts. However, they are prepared to make an appropriate contribution to solving the problem.
The course of events leads to frustration among a number of members of the working group, including debt assistants, bailiffs, collection agencies and a representative of the affected parents. They claim to have been completely overtaken by the BBWs step and reproach the organisation for acting in its own interest, in order to strengthen the position of administrators in dealing with the complex problems.
meantime, there is still no conclusive plan to relieve the victims of their financial misery that they ended up in by the government. Van Huffelen acknowledged that on Wednesday in an online meeting with the victims. She advises parents who are hunted by creditors to report. For this purpose, a special service number has been set (0800-2358358).
In that meeting, ministry officials also said that victims can knock on the door when they need help with their debts. But the Vereniging van Nederlandse Gemeenten believes that the Tax Administration should fully assume this role and calls on the cabinet in a letter to come up with a clear regulation quickly.
The Ministry of Finance also says “it is not possible in all situations to prevent private creditors from seizing accounts and money from the parents who have been duped. We try to get a quick and good insight into which parents are outside the Tax Administration and surcharges are in debt. When we know that parents have debts and/or their accounts are confiscated, we talk to them about how we deal with them.”
A week after the fall of the Cabinet and the shooting of the working groups recovery plan, a new round of talks began between the various stakeholders. On the table is a customversion of the recovery plan. According to the Ministry of Finance, the negotiations are being constructive and in a good atmosphere. An insider says to hope that lessons have been learned from the course of events over the past week. “This issue is too complicated for one-liners”.