Today the Dutch governing coalition stood down after an independent report confirmed tax authorities falsely accused over 26,000 parents of fraud, requiring them to pay childcare benefit debts that did not in fact exist. The government’s actions led to family bankruptcies, depression, divorce, and evictions, and targeted those with dual nationality and of limited means.
The scandal stands in stark contrast to the number of large corporations given deep tax cuts, sometimes even contravening international norms.
While the pervasive, systemic racism in this case is shocking, media coverage has failed to fully acknowledge this central aspect.
Tax authorities admitted to actively profiling citizens with dual nationality, with uncovered memos showing employees used racial slurs to describe these citizens.
Although (once again) a Rutte cabinet has collapsed due to scandal, Mark Rutte still intends to run for re-election on March 17.
Symbolic gestures will not suffice. We must demand more speedy, appropriate compensation for deeply traumatised families, more significant accountability, and a system overhaul to ensure this does not occur to others. Let us call this what it is, systematic racism. Let us recognise its presence and impact. And let us fight together against this scourge.