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Thread: Dutch government resigns

  1. #1

    Default Dutch government resigns

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-55674146

    Kinda nice to see a govt. taking responsibility for ruining thousands of lives—disproportionately brown lives, ofc—by erroneously labeling them as fraudsters, leaving them practically no recourse for redress. Even if there might be a strategic component. Hope they are awarded adequate compensation.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
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  2. #2
    Interesting, hope the people affected get the appropriate compensation that is the most important bit and that lessons are learned.

    Politically it seems a rather cynical move rather than an enlightened one reading between the lines of that report. Jumped before pushed with what seems an inevitable Vote of No Confidence otherwise - plus leading in the polls makes it easier to jump too. For the Dutchies here does that seem a fair reading of the situation or am I being overly cynical in that?

    From what I know of Dutch politics I hope Rutte does win re-election despite this. From what I know if I was Dutch I'd support the VVD.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    ℬeing upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Flixy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-55674146

    Kinda nice to see a govt. taking responsibility for ruining thousands of lives—disproportionately brown lives, ofc—by erroneously labeling them as fraudsters, leaving them practically no recourse for redress. Even if there might be a strategic component. Hope they are awarded adequate compensation.
    Taking responsibility.. well, the resignation doesn't have much effect since elections were already planned anyway. Still good that they resigned though, but I'm not sure if they'd be as eager to earlier in their term.

    @Rand, not that cynical either, resigning the cabinet when a vote of no confidence is looming is sorta standard here, and in general resignations over scandals are expected as the ministers are accountable for their departments.

    Not a fan of thr VVD for various reasons by the way, politics aside they are a bit scandal and corruption prone and seem to like being less than truthful to the public and 'losing' evidence and 'forgetting' things. They like to bend rules for themselves, while being very strict on others (as in this scandal, which has VVD written all over it). And let's not forget their history of running the justice department which was a travesty of not taking responsibility under them (and giving false information to Thailand resulting in the imprisonment of a Dutch guy there).
    Last edited by Flixy; 01-16-2021 at 12:34 PM.
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  4. #4
    Always easier to take responsibility by doing what you wanted to do, or have no choice but to do. Seems like this is both.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    ℬeing upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    Interesting, hope the people affected get the appropriate compensation that is the most important bit and that lessons are learned.
    Last I read its going to be ~$30k. Seems kinda low.
    "In a field where an overlooked bug could cost millions, you want people who will speak their minds, even if they’re sometimes obnoxious about it."

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    Politically it seems a rather cynical move rather than an enlightened one reading between the lines of that report. Jumped before pushed with what seems an inevitable Vote of No Confidence otherwise - plus leading in the polls makes it easier to jump too. For the Dutchies here does that seem a fair reading of the situation or am I being overly cynical in that?
    Yes—this is the strategic component of the decision I referred to. Still a valuable norm to maintain. I can't think of many western govts that would have resigned—not mine, certainly not the UK's.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Last I read its going to be ~$30k. Seems kinda low.
    It's a low cap if some families were, as the article suggests, on the hook for more than that. Even if no families were able to pay anything near that sum (thus limiting their own costs somewhat), victims should be awarded an additional sum in damages, on top of suitable interest and getting help with covering other costs that resulted from this fuckery—and, of course, getting a clean slate wrt credit & debt. Most countries are not that generous. In this case, they should be.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
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    The €30.000 is is what every family affected by the harshness of the system gets. Regardless of the amount of actual damages. These will be evaluated later on. Also the suspicion of some ethnic profiling so far is nothing more than that. Can probably not be substantiated, because ethinc minorities are probably more likely to be eligible for childcare support.

    Now that's out of the way; let me weigh in on the situation. Unlike what's told in Dutch media, I don't think this scandal started in 2012. It's also near impossible to point fingers, because this is not just bureaucrats run wild, or heartless politicians. The roots of the scandal lie in the early 1990s. Well before we even knew childcare suppport.

    At the time there were 5 organizations charged with the administration of employee benefits (unemployment, sick pay, invalidity). These 5 organizations were supervised by a government agency. This agency would yearly report on the administration of the funds filled with premiums paid by employers and employees. As you would expect mistakes were made with benefits. Sometimes people would get more than they were due. The administrators had a well-balanced system to establish if it was just and fair to reclaim the undue benefits or not. Basically the individual situation would be taken into account. The courts controling the administrators worked on the same basis. Somehow, though the reports on the administrators started to attract attention in the printed media. Because written off overpayments were put under the heading 'unlawfully dispensed benefits'. There were good reasons for these to exist, and I guess they should be seen as an indicator how well the administrators were doing their jobs. In the media though almost immediately 'unlawfully dispensed benefits' became 'fraudulently aquired benefits' and the administrators were accused of letting frauds off the hook.

    The administrators were 'punished' by forcing them to merge into one organization. But the outcry of hundreds of millions, maybe billions being defrauded (not true) made politicians jump into action. The administration was stripped of all discretionary powers on the matter of unlawfully dispensed benefits. They were forced to reclaim every cent paid too much, and they were instructed to impose fines of 100% of the amount. All of a sudden, making an honest mistake was called fraud. It was very possible to lose money by working and not reporting having worked in closely defined ways. Merely saying 'I found a job, I don't need unemployment any longer' did not make the threshold of giving sufficient information. The system at the beginning was crazy. Over the years jurisprudence shaved off the worst rough edges. I'd still say it's harsh, but not as bad as it used to be.

    Then came 2012, and some people thought it was a good idea to help lower income families with child care through a system of subsidies. For good measure they introduced the same rules for 'fraud' in the legislation. And then they had the smart idea of charging the Belastingdienst (Tax office) with its administration. I don't know all the ins and outs of the subsidie but it works on a provisional payment that later gets checked against the actual expenses. Because child care is expensive in this country the advances easily run into the thousands real fast. If at the moment your final subsidy is calculated anything is wrong, you have to pay back the entire amount recieved. And since this is the Belastingdienst they have powers to reclaim money that NOBODY else has. And that's where people started to lose the shirt on their backs for trivial mistakes or missing receipts. Because the Belastigingdienst lacked discretionary powers to be lenient where leniency was due and limitless powers to reclaim. Then there's the additional drama that the Belastingdienst falls under the jurisdiction of a part of the court system that has little to no experience with the subject matter. So in the time since 2012 they did nothing to protect people against a hugely unfair system. Finally politicians made a mess of solving the problem when it finally surfaced.

    Who's to blame here? Are we really going to say it's the responsibility of politicians only? Shouldn't the media have a look at themselves for being to stupid to correctly report about a situation? Shouldn't the voters for demanding a crack down on fraud that wasn't even there? Shouldn't judges for unjust rulings?

    The debate in the Netherlands is now about the accountability of ministers. Which is all very nice, but that merely covers the tail end of this whole shitshow.

    I swear my blood pressure rises when I see talkshows with guests blabbering about the scandal. It seems like nobody bloody cares about anything else than repeating what other talking heads already said.

    P.S. there are some indications that the Belastingdienst demands its share from the compensation some of these people got.
    Congratulations America

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    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    Interesting, hope the people affected get the appropriate compensation that is the most important bit and that lessons are learned.

    Politically it seems a rather cynical move rather than an enlightened one reading between the lines of that report. Jumped before pushed with what seems an inevitable Vote of No Confidence otherwise - plus leading in the polls makes it easier to jump too. For the Dutchies here does that seem a fair reading of the situation or am I being overly cynical in that?

    From what I know of Dutch politics I hope Rutte does win re-election despite this. From what I know if I was Dutch I'd support the VVD.
    Jump before you are pushed isn't that uncommon in Dutch politics. The present situation is a bit more complicated though because some of the people most tarnished by the affair aren't part of the government nor of it's coalition in Parliament but held ministerial positions earlier on. Rutte didn't want to resign, that much I know. I also agree with his arguments for not doing so. But as the other parties in the coalition wanted to get out he had no other choice.

    It's not that important since we were going to have elections anyway. Typically we manage without governments quite well.
    Congratulations America

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    And now a breathtaking U turn. The people affected will see their debts to all government agencies canceled. A very expensive guilt trip.
    Congratulations America

  10. #10
    [video of kylo ren shouting "more!"]
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

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    Seems like the affair has had no influence over the way the vote went in the elections that took place over the last 3 days. Rutte has won again and it would be very surprising if he wouldn't be the head of the new government.

    Personally I'm happy that Volt (a European federalist party) will enter parliament and as things are right now even has a small chance of becoming part of the governing coalition.
    Congratulations America

  12. #12
    Senior Member Flixy's Avatar
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    And Rutte managed to get in hot water for lying to the press before even managing to form a new cabinet. Sorry, 'misremembering' something from days ago can't say I'm surprised, this seems like classic Rutte to me. Let's see if he manages to laugh this scandal away as well.
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    I think it's his colleagues in the coalition who will find that they have limited their options.
    Last edited by Hazir; 04-03-2021 at 12:44 AM.
    Congratulations America

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    Senior Member Flixy's Avatar
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    He might want to get himself a good medical checkup though, he's forgetting more than he should
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flixy View Post
    He might want to get himself a good medical checkup though, he's forgetting more than he should
    I'm not even sure he said what was said that he said. But facts seem to matter very little in this whole situation. Unlike a lot of other people I think he could be able to survive this crisis by leaning back and let the others do their blood sport with him staying out.
    Congratulations America

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    Senior Member Flixy's Avatar
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    I mean, it was recorded by cameras, it's clear he said what he said. And that was a lie. A stupid and unneeded one - but it's hardly the first time he's caught lying on camera, whether it's about something important or not. I guess that happens when you want to say what the other person wants to hear.

    Knowing him I would not be surprised if he somehow manages to survive either, he does have a knack for that.
    Keep on keepin' the beat alive!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flixy View Post
    I mean, it was recorded by cameras, it's clear he said what he said. And that was a lie. A stupid and unneeded one - but it's hardly the first time he's caught lying on camera, whether it's about something important or not. I guess that happens when you want to say what the other person wants to hear.

    Knowing him I would not be surprised if he somehow manages to survive either, he does have a knack for that.
    Was it a lie though ? For it to be a lie he'd at least had to have had the intention to not tell the truth. And I am not convinced either way.

    He may survive, that is very much dependent on whether he manages to keep his party together as they go to the brink over joining government or not.
    Congratulations America

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