Van Huffelen proposed this to the House of Representatives on Tuesday. MPs had insisted on these compensation schemes, because in their eyes former partners and children would not be done justice otherwise. The compensation of at least 30,000 euros from the so-called Catshuis scheme is intended for the official applicant for the childcare allowance, which is always one of the parents.
But the children of the affected parents have also suffered a lot of damage, according to the House of Representatives. Van Huffelen writes in her compensation proposal: ‘Many children of victimized parents grew up in problematic circumstances. Children have experienced poverty, among other things. The stressful home situation also led in some cases to broken families and/or even to children being placed out of home.’
Van Huffelen therefore wants to give the approximately 70,000 children of recognized victims a substantial amount of money, ranging from 1,500 (for 0 to 5-year-olds) to 7,500 euros (over 18s). That equates to an average amount of 5,000 euros per child affected.
Not having your own money
The government and the House of Representatives still have to come up with a solution for the payment to minor children. Legally speaking, they cannot dispose of that money themselves. Their compensation should therefore be paid to their parents, but Van Huffelen finds that undesirable.
The House of Representatives also wanted a specific compensation scheme for parents and stepparents who are now separated from the benefit applicant. During their relationship, they often shared in the financial and psychological misery, but in principle they do not receive a cent from the 30,000 euro scheme. Their ex-partner should actually share it with them, especially if they bore part of the financial burden at the time. But if their ex keeps the entire amount for themselves, they’re broke. That is why Van Huffelen grants these an estimated 8,000 exes 10,000 euros one-off. The target group is men and women who lived together with the benefit applicant for at least one year after the first unjustified repayment of childcare allowance.
Like the benefit applicant, the ex-partner is also eligible for a partial or partial cancellation of public and private debts. The House of Representatives has requested this so that the parents can really start with a clean slate and do not have to spend their compensation on paying off debts.
Also victims other allowances
Finally, also at the request of the House of Representatives, there will be an additional compensation scheme for victims of benefits other than the childcare allowance (rent and care allowance and child-related budget). This concerns approximately 22,000 victims who are victims of institutional bias on the part of the tax authorities, or who were blacklisted as ‘fraudsters’. 12,000 of them can also claim the 30,000 euro scheme as victims of the childcare allowance scandal.
The new compensation schemes are estimated at approximately EUR 900 million. Van Huffelen emphasizes several times in her letter that some parents can receive substantial ‘overcompensation’ due to the stacking of schemes. However, in view of the feasibility of the schemes, this is inevitable, she writes.
Van Huffelen also reports in her letter that 42,000 parents have now registered for the Catshuis scheme, 33,000 of which have been registered in the last six months. Because these applications have priority, there has been a substantial delay in the individual assessment of the parent files.