The Dutch government resigns after childcare benefits scandal

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte arrives on his bike in front of the Cabinet at the Binnenhof in The Hague.

Rymco de Walla | Agence France-Presse | Getty Images

LONDON – The entire Dutch government resigned on Friday after a scandal involving mismanagement of childcare funds pushed thousands of families into financial hardship.

An investigation in December revealed that tax officials wrongly accused thousands of working families of fraud and ordered them to pay childcare benefits between 2013 and 2019. Some Dutch lawmakers described the event as an “unprecedented injustice”.

The revelation led to the resignation of opposition leader Ludwijk Asher, who was the minister responsible for social affairs in the previous administration, on Thursday.

The government led by Prime Minister Mark Root, who has been in power since 2017, decided on Friday to accept responsibility and relinquish the position collectively over the scandal.

At a press conference, Root said she will continue to lead the emergency response to Covid-19 with caretaker status.

Covid response

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