Dutch government finance official quits over childcare fraud

International

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The Dutch government’s secretary of state for finance resigned Wednesday amid criticism of his handling of a scandal involving hundreds of parents who were wrongfully accused of child benefit fraud.

Menno Snel told lawmakers that if they no longer considered him “part of the solution, but becoming part of the problem,” then it was time to quit.

Hundreds of families were plunged into financial problems when government authorities wrongly said they committed fraud by claiming money for child care to which they weren’t entitled.

Parents had the benefit cut and in many cases were ordered to repay benefits they had received — sometimes running into thousands of euros.

The problems predate Snel’s appointment, but his attempts to put right them right have been criticized by parents and lawmakers.

The government has pledged to repay the parents affected and pay them compensation.

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