Hoekstra: size of the payment affair only clear through media messages

The information management from the Tax Administration is really not in order. That is what Minister Hoekstra said before the parliamentary interrogation committee which is investigating the childcare allowance affair.

โ€œ When you see what kind of search parents had to undertake to complete their dossier, that in many characteristics resembles how files had to be prepared to prepare the Secretary of State for a debate in the Chamber,โ€ he explained.

Hoekstra also said that the scale of the affair with the childcare allowance was not really made explicit on the agenda until 2019 due to a ruling of the Council of State, media reports and questions from MPs. He called it โ€œshitty โ€œthat something had been going on for a long time. But according to him, it was very much the question whether we would have sat here today if that statement and the reports in the media had not been there.

On the poor provision of information within the Tax Administration, he gave another example that he only learned at a late stage that there was a considerable financial setback in inheritance and donation tax.

Previously affected
In

retrospect, Hoekstra believes that action could have been taken earlier to accommodate the victims of the surcharge affair, but in the summer of 2019 he understood the fear within his ministry of precedent. The Cabinet was waiting for a report from former Minister Donner on the affair, which also made proposals on compensation for the victims. That report came later than was thought, said Hoekstra.

Hoekstra called it horrible that people have been abandoned and he said that the embarrassment is on his jaws. โ€œThat the government that these people have relied on has done this is really extremely painful.โ€ He felt that the parents concerned should have been spoken earlier, and he also said that State Secretary Snel has been too long in the โ€œdefensive attitude of the Tax Administrationโ€.

Hoekstra also said that at the beginning of his term of office he was told from his Secretary-General that the Supplements Division was the best functioning part of the Tax Administration. He himself felt from the beginning that the system of childcare allowance was very complex. Hoekstra knew this from his own experience, because he has young children himself.

Tilt moment

In 2018, he was hardly involved in the childcare affair himself. According to him, the โ€œtipping momentโ€ was the ruling of the Council of the State in April 2019. The purpose of that ruling was that the Tax Administration had legal opportunities to deal less hard with people who had made a small mistake when filling out the child storage forms.

In May 2019, Hoekstra was, according to his own opinion, for the first time put his nose on the facts, when he was called to the question time in the House of Representatives on ethnic profiling by the Tax Administration. To Hoekstras annoyance, it was not clear at that time how exactly that was.

Today is the eighth and final day of the interrogation committee interrogation. Prime Minister Rutte is coming this afternoon.