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First cabinet casualty: junior minister quits over travel expenses claim

Thursday 06 December 2012


Junior economic minister Co Verdaas has resigned following a row over expenses claimed while he was a member of Gelderland provincial council.

Verdaas, a provincial councillor in Gelderland before joining Mark Rutte's second cabinet, had for years charged the province for travelling between Nijmegen and Arnhem where the provincial authority is located.

However, Verdaas in fact lived in Zwolle, which is in Overijssel province. Councillors are supposed to live in the province they represent.


‘I have decided to repay the money to the province,' Verdaas said in a statement.

‘My job is supposed to set an example and my integrity should be beyond all reproach,’ he said. ‘I do not wish to burden the job, the cabinet and my party with any more discussion about this.’

Verdaas, 46, was an MP for the Labour party between 2003 and 2006. As junior minister in the economic affairs ministry, he had special responsibility for farming.


Verdaas, who has been in the job for one month, will be entitled to the special unemployment benefit for ministers of €9,000 a month for six months, news agency ANP said.

Labour leader Diederik Samsom said Verdaas's resignation is a loss for the Labour party and the government.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

"Verdaas, who has been in the job for one month, will be entitled to the special unemployment benefit for ministers of €9,000 a month for six month"

€54,000 for one month on the job? Maybe he will now repay the illegal obtained travel expense.

By bruce | 6 December 2012 3:48 PM

€54,000... for doing what may I ask?

Get him into one of those reincarnation oops, work related reintegration programs, Paswerk in Hooftddorp have vacancies!

By The scrambled egg visitor | 6 December 2012 9:46 PM

Zwolle to Arnhem 74km. Nijmegen to Arnhem 19km. Poor bloke was paying out of his pocket to get to work, and now he's effed up!! Move on... there are way bigger fish to fry at the moment; and all you did was axe small fry!!!

By skister | 6 December 2012 10:05 PM

No, poor bloke did not pay out of his pocket to get to work. A government car + driver drove him to Zwolle each day. Meanwhile, he received work to home travel expense for Nijmegen, where he had a 1% share in a residential property to fool the government (source: an article in De Volkskrant last week)

By Hans | 6 December 2012 11:24 PM

Sharp point skister. I do not understand why he has to resign for charging less than he deserves here. Maybe he decides to rent a place in nijmegen so that it is easier and faster to go to arnhem?

By ufo | 7 December 2012 8:57 AM

Nice umemployment, if you can get it!
Not for us serfs.

By Al | 7 December 2012 10:03 AM

Such is indicative of your “Max and Moritz” deal fixing to quickly. With a small amount of control this could have been avoided.

By Terence Hale | 7 December 2012 8:04 PM

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