Sounds like a thought experiment. The Dutch policy of allowances, which had become so cruel and ruthless as a result of Bulgarian fraud, turned in a short time so much generosity and compensatory prodding that even the Bulgarian fraudsters with whom it all began will be eligible for compensation. is not it?
So yes. Tuesday Messages from a reporter A number of names previously implicated in the Bulgarian fraud investigation have now received €30,000 compensation as victims in the allowances case. The Finance Ministry released figures later in the day: among the recipients of 30,000 euros in compensation – a total of 23,000 victims – 14 people appeared in the Bulgarian fraud investigation and in a similar investigation into another fraud case.
They are small numbers, but politics is also symbolic. It was the Bulgarian village of Ivansky that put the benefits fraud on the map in 2013. KRO . Program focal point I photographed it all: a donkey, a few barking dogs and a whole host of residents who received Dutch surcharges on Dutch debit cards, thanks to clever brokers. “You must die quickly,” Foreign Minister Frans Wickers said in the radio broadcast. He later resigned because, according to the Chamber, he had not done enough to prevent a repeat of the Bulgarian fraud.
It is precisely these Bulgarians who are considered victims and can receive compensation, which is bad. Wasn’t this compensation intended for the thousands of Dutch people who undoubtedly cooperated with a fraudulent childcare agency, or made an administrative error, and then had to pay huge sums?
Not a flaw, but the setting
Indeed, the news confirms that even those involved in Bulgarian fraud can now obtain compensation for the change of course initiated by the Cabinet in 2020 when dealing with the issue of allowances. The basic idea: Fixing critical errors is also a choice between care and speed. Or aim for customization, but that takes time. Or you choose a general arrangement, but it will not be suitable for everyone. One gets too little, the other gets too much. Or: way too much.
Read also: Will the benefits issue be okay again?
For a long time, the government chose the first and second for a year. Anyone who can prove to be a victim will soon receive 30,000 euros. No one who’s been labeled “intentional/serious fault” by the tax authorities no longer suffers from this – even if that designation isn’t enforced for nothing. That’s not a flaw: It’s exactly the plan, as laid down by the Cabinet of Cachois—and praised by the House of Representatives. With so many casualties, you had better act fast.
Even before the arrival of the Catshuis scheme, officials at the tax authorities indicated that the more public the schemes became, the greater the chance that real fraudsters would qualify. Perhaps the most problematic result is the other: Victims who have suffered more than 30,000 euros in damages are waiting longer to allocate due to this additional bureaucratic hurdle.
The more general the approach, the less you know the file specifically. For the same reason, on Tuesday, the Ministry of Finance could not immediately say that the Bulgarians had again abused the system. Of those 14 people, it is not clear whether the compensation was unjustified. This will be analyzed further.” The fact of abuse of the compensation scheme has already become clear from other cases: the Ministry previously estimated that 2 to 5 percent of all late payments of 30,000 euros are unjustified.
What will happen? Do you remain generous with compensation, which results in beneficiaries? Or be tougher, in order to catch the perpetrators, even if the innocent victims have to wait longer for the money as a result? Wickers warned in 2013 with the advent of a more serious fraudulent approach, “Good will do evil.” Eight years later, not much has changed in this regard.
A version of this article also appeared on NRC on the morning of December 22, 2021
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