36 members of ARDI have co-signed an oral question addressing the Dutch childcare benefit scandal. A few weeks ago the Dutch cabinet had admitted that institutional racism was at the root cause of the scandal in which thousands of low and middle income (racialized) families were subjected to scrutiny and falsely accused of fraud in their application for childcare benefits. The families were asked to pay back thousands of Euros (sometimes in the six figures) which they had obtained completely legally. As a result of the criminalization many suffered from (mental) health struggles, over 1000 children were taken out of their homes, thousands lost their jobs, some even committed suicide. Among other aspects, unsupervised and self-lerning algorithms had led to the flagging of the families’ applications. The scandal led to the resignation of the Dutch government.
We will push for the question to be included in the agenda of September’s sitting.
You can find the oral question here: