Mark Rutte will be heard next Thursday by the parliamentary committee of inquiry on Fraud Policy and Services. This committee investigates, among other things, what went wrong with the childcare allowance, but also goes further back in time. Rutte is first heard as former State Secretary for Social Affairs (2002 – 2004). Later he is invited “in another role”. That will be as prime minister.
The commission’s public hearings will run from September 5 to October 5. The program of the first week has now been announced, the rest will follow later. Next week, victims will also be on the agenda. In addition, former Volkskrant journalist Gijs Herderscheê, professors and other experts who know a lot about social security, government communication and the protection of personal data will also speak.
The commission of inquiry investigates “the way in which the government combats fraud and has failed to provide services to, and legal protection of, citizens”. Emphasis is placed on discrimination. The role of the House of Representatives is also under scrutiny. Around 2010, in response to the ‘Bulgarian fraud’, he urged that fraudsters be tackled harder.
‘Leave deep traces’
The committee has been working since February. Some 700,000 documents have been requested. 117 conversations were also held behind closed doors, with victims and others. Chairman Belhaj says these were conversations beyond imagination. “It is hard to comprehend to see all the certainties under your existence being swept away.” She points out that thirty years of fraud policy have left deep scars and that confidence in the government has been damaged as a result.
In the run-up to the public hearings, the committee had some setbacks. For example, the members of VVD and CDA withdrew because the parliamentary inquiry would take too much time. Both were replaced. Due to the fall of the cabinet, it is uncertain whether the current members of the committee will be able to complete their work. Farid Azarkan (Denk) and Sylvana Simons (Bij1) have already announced that they will not return after the elections.
Belhaj himself would like to become D66 party leader for the European elections in the spring.
The fact that part of the committee will leave in November, possibly before the final report is ready, is difficult according to Belhaj. But she is confident that there will be a good final report, perhaps as early as this autumn. That could be after the election. But the bulk of the work will have been done by then, Belhaj emphasized.
Earlier, a flash survey was done about the benefits scandal. That was a shorter study, with fewer resources. The harsh conclusions that were drawn then led to the fall of the Rutte III cabinet. Rutte said at the time that “the whole political system has failed”.
- Hearings of the Commission of Inquiry on Fraud will begin in September
- The Chamber is putting a survey on corona policy on hold for the time being
- Hearings survey surcharge affair will start in a year