At the moment, fifty Rotterdam residents are recognized by the tax authorities as victims. The group is most likely much larger, but the municipality is dependent on information from the tax authorities. As soon as Rotterdam has this information, these people will also be approached quickly and they will be compensated more quickly, according to the municipality. Ultimately, around 400 people will soon have to get rid of their debts. Rotterdam probably has the largest number of victims of the benefits affair with 5,000 self-reporters.
At the end of April, outgoing State Secretary Alexandra van Huffelen (Toeslagen) announced that the government would take over the private debts of duped parents in a debt process. But according to Rotterdam that takes too long. “These people have often been living on the subsistence level for years. Waiting longer every day is unacceptable ”, says Alderman Michiel Grauss (poverty reduction and debt approach).
Accelerated repayment means that creditors will immediately receive the amount that they previously agreed to. The previously paid installments are then refunded to the account of the victim and the process is closed within a few days, so that these people no longer have any debts. The Municipal Executive assumes that the money from the national government will cover the amount in the municipal budget.
As a result of this action, these victims from Rotterdam are really debt-free and they have access to their full income again, says Alderman Grauss. “In this way they can make a new start with the 30,000 euros they have received as compensation from the tax authorities.”
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