A majority of MPs agree with Amsterdam council executive Lodewijk Asscher’s suggestion that parents of young vandals should be hit where it hurts, namely in their pockets.
Asscher wants to dock their child benefit and make them pay fines and damage claims, reports Monday’s Volkskrant.
The coalition partners Christian Democrats and Labour and the opposition party right-wing Liberals (VVD) reacted positively this weekend.
Home affairs minister Guusje ter Horst (Labour) says the plan can be introduced under existing law and pointed out under questioning that child benefit can be handed over to a family guardian.
Christian Democrats and Liberals are prepared to go one step further and make parents accountable for any damage caused by their children. Christian Democrat MP Coskun Cörüz told parliament that vandals’ mobiles and scooters should be confiscated to pay for any damage.
‘If that does not cover the cost, then parents must pay the difference,’ the Volkskrant quotes him as saying.
Cörüz says he thinks this would have a greater effect on parents and would avoid affecting children in a family who are not involved with vandalism.
According to Ter Horst cuts in child benefit already take place in a handful of cases where the authorities are not convinced it is benefiting the child in question. In these cases, the money is administered by a family guardian.
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