Students who lie about living away from home in order to collect bigger government grants face fines as well as paying back the cash, education minister Ronald Plasterk has decided.
Home-based students get a basic grant of €93 a month, but those living out get almost €260. The fraud is estimated to cost taxpayers €80m a year.
Plasterk says he wants to treat student grant fraud in a similar way to social security fiddles. This means students suspected of cheating may be visited at their official address to see if they really live there.
Plasterk is also considering fining students 25% of the wrongly-paid out cash. At the moment, students caught lying about their home address only have to repay the money.
Friends and relations who help students with fake addresses could also be fined, the Telegraaf quotes Plasterk as saying.
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