Demissionary Secretary of State Van Huffelen of Finance is not satisfied with the financial settlement for parents who have fallen victim to the allowance affair. “There are a lot of things that need improvement,” she said in a debate with a critical House of Representatives. But she also warned, “There is no golden solution that works for all parents”.
Yesterday, the National Ombudsman concluded that the recovery operation is completely wrong. Deadlines are exceeded and the system is too complicated. MPs want Van Huffelen to come up with improvements quickly. But he pointed out that the speed should not be at the expense of care.
The Secretary of State is willing to look at the proposal of several parties to work with lump sums. That would relieve the commission that now has to individually determine the level of damage from all parents. VVD, CDA and ChristenUnie think it would care a lot of work if, for example, a fixed amount is paid per damage year.
Cat House Scheme
Many parents, despite previous promises, are still not compensated for the damage they suffered by often having to repay high fees from the Tax Authorities. The recovery operation takes much longer than initially thought, partly because new problems arise over and over again.
Of the 47,000 people who have reported as disadvantaged, less than half have received the 30,000 euros of the Catshuis scheme at the moment. This group of people has been found to have actually been duped by the tax authorities out of control fraud hunt. They are allowed to keep that amount anyway, even though their actual damage appears to be smaller.
The Catshuis scheme was planned to be completed by May 1 of this year, but far more parents reported than Van Huffelen expected. She also assumed that about half of all parents would settle for the 30,000 euros, but until now about 500 parents have only said they consider it sufficient. Almost everyone wants an integral assessment of the actual damage, which takes extra time and manpower.
According to the Secretary of State, many parents are not about higher compensation, but want to know exactly what happened to them, why they fell victim. “It‘s not just financial, it’s emotional.”
The SP once again called for a ‘one-day procedure’ to help people much faster. This was a successful approach in pilot projects. The Secretary of State thinks that such a system can work for a part of the parents, but not for everyone.
She is also willing to look at more decision-making powers for personal practitioners and to give more control to the parents themselves. She wants to come up with concrete proposals next month, but the patience of the Chamber is running out.