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Dutch child benefit scandal, Dutch government resigns

Dutch child benefit scandal, Dutch government resigns

The Dutch government cabinet has resigned following the scandal that the country's tax office mistakenly prosecuted thousands of families for fraud.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, in power since 2010, still enjoys a high approval rating among voters in the Netherlands.

Foreign media suggest that Mark Rutte resigned after it emerged that officials had mistakenly prosecuted thousands of people for fraud. Rutte convened a cabinet meeting in The Hague, where ministers had to decide whether to resign just two months before the general election.

According to the information, the Dutch tax office had accused thousands of families of fraud to ensure to provide benefits for children between 2013 and 2019. It asked citizens to make repayments of tens of thousands of euros, leading many families into huge debts and in some cases, divorce.

A parliamentary report called it an "unprecedented injustice" to remove tens of thousands of euros without giving the accused a chance to prove their innocence. Rutte, who has been prime minister since 2010, described the episode as "shameful".

Pressure on Rutte's four-party coalition to resign escalated on Thursday when the leader of the opposition Labor party, Lodewijk Asscher, stepped down.

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