Tuesday 30 November 2021

Groningen gas, benefit fraud victims to meet coalition negotiators

Wouter Koolmees and Johan Remkes talking to reporters about progress. Photo: Phil Nijhuis ANP

Families victimised in the childcare benefit scandal and people whose property has been damaged by the Groningen earthquakes are to be invited to tell their stories to the team working to put together a new cabinet.

The talks should make it clear how the relationship between ordinary citizens and the government can be improved, negotiator Wouter Koolmees told reporters on Monday afternoon.

Former CDA MP Pieter Omtzigt, who put the benefit scandal on the political agenda, will also be invited to contribute, as will representatives from government planning agencies, the Dutch central bank and the immigration service IND.

The four parties which make up the current coalition have agreed to carry out more detailed negotiations in a bid to extend their alliance, after officials failed to find an workable, alternative option.

The aim is to put together a simple coalition agreement without too much detail but no issues have yet been finalised Koolmees said.

The Netherlands has been without an effective government since January.

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