VVD party leader wants to scrap benefits, compensate through tax system

The benefits system should be scrapped completely and poorer people should be helped through the tax system, right-wing Liberal VVD party leader Halbe Zijlstra told the NRC.

Zijlstra told the paper the benefit system has developed into a ‘fraud-sensitive Moloch’. ‘Taking money from people through tax and then giving it back in benefits for housing, children and healthcare is a senseless circulation of money,’ he said.

The party leader was reacting to the case of junior finance minister Frans Weekers, who faced a motion of no confidence earlier this week for his handling of benefit fraud by Bulgarians.

But Zijlstra also said the fact that 70% of the population receives one or more benefits shows the whole system is out of control.


Zijlstra said the Netherlands has always had a progressive tax system and he does not want that to change.

However, it would be much better to scrap benefits and recompense poorer people through a lower income tax rate. ‘If that is not enough, then one universal benefit would be enough,’ he said.

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