The Rutte III cabinet fell because of the payment affair, in which thousands of people were wrongly labeled as fraudsters and often had to repay tens of thousands of euros in childcare. What do the victims think of getting out of the Cabinet?
“ Im crying at the wheel, Im so happy”, responds victim Kristie Rongen. “This is so justified, it should not have been different from this.” Rongen received a debt of 92,000 euros and ended up in debt relief. “I spent 12 years in misery, the worst thing for me was that my little daughter was very much suffering. She didnt want to live anymore.”
However, she believes that demissionary Prime Minister Mark Rutte and demissionary Minister Hoekstra of Finance should not be elected again. “That would be unjust. They have destroyed too much and really have to leave, just like Lodewijk Asscher.”
Lawyer and victim Orlando Kadir, who is assisting 600 families, is relieved that the Cabinet is leaving. But he, too, questions the forthcoming elections. “How can Rutte and Hoekstra still be the leader? For your supporters this cannot be explained in all simplicity. It is cruel and it is not right. We must go to an integrity and sincere cabinet.”
Kadir believes that some 95% of families still have problems due to the scandal. “I worked late last night to avoid a deposition. Another family had no bread for children for years, or medical expenses could not be paid. Thats all still playing.”
Dupted Tamara Hardenbol and her then husband were told in 2013 that they had to repay 18,000 euros. Within two years, she had to repay EUR 900 a month, otherwise her wages would be seized.
“ I am doubly in the resignation of the Cabinet,” she says in response. “If a cabinet should fall, it is about this. But were also in a coronacrisis, so the question is, what is wisdom? It does recognise what has happened, so in the end it is good that the cabinet falls.”
Advocate Eva Gonzáles Pérez also sees a mixed picture of her 40 clients. “Some see it as a form of justice, but most want broad compensation, financially and morally,” she says. “I have clients who are sad, others are angry. It depends on where they are in the grief curve.”
She herself looks at the resignation of the Cabinet mainly in legal terms. “I focus on the victims and the resignation of the cabinet is of no use to them: it is ultimately the ones who actually acted. Political responsibility is somewhat different from actual responsibility. There are 500 more questions from the House of Representatives to answer.”
30.000 euros for victims
In December last year, Secretary of State Van Huffelen (Finance) announced that all the parents affected will be paid EUR 30,000 tax free within four months, so that they quickly see some of the compensation.
The demissionary cabinet wants to make the first payments by the end of this month. So most of the victims have not received anything yet. Some parents are already individually compensated, like Kristie Rongen. “It is still unclear to me whether I am entitled to the 30,000 euros, or whether I have already received it. But it is a pittance for all the suffering that I have been lying.”