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World

Dutch government resigns over childcare subsidies scandal

  • The Dutch government, led by Prime Minister Mark Rutte has resigned over the childcare subsidies scandal.
  • A report last month revealed that around 10,000 families in the Netherlands had been forced to repay tens of thousands of euros worth of subsidies, after being falsely accused of fraud.
Published January 15, 2021
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The Dutch government, led by Prime Minister Mark Rutte has resigned over the childcare subsidies scandal.

Prime Minister Rutte, who leads the conservative People's Party for Freedom and Democracy, as a part of a four-party ruling coalition, stepped down after a cabinet meeting.

After an inquiry into the child subsidies scandal labelled the ruling party's mismanagement as "a decade of unprecedented injustice", in the aftermath of which the opposition parties pressured the Prime Minister to resign.

A report last month revealed that around 10,000 families in the Netherlands had been forced to repay tens of thousands of euros worth of subsidies, after being falsely accused of fraud.

This led to an unprecedented increase in unemployment, bankruptcy and divorce, with 500 million euros earmarked to compensate nearly 20,000 families.

This is the first government collapse in the country since 2012, as parliamentary elections are due to be held on 17 March, with the current government expected to stay on until then in a caretaker role.

Rutte is expected to lead his party to the polls, with polling suggesting it will win the most seats and will be in the driving position to form the next coalition.

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