The trade union FNV today filed a complaint with the Dutch Data Protection Authority (AP) against five municipalities. These are Nieuwegein, Houten, IJsselstein, Lopik and Veenendaal. Until last June, they used what’s called a points card fraud when their residents applied for benefits. This is while a judge has already banned this method in 2020.
For example, if you’re a hairdresser or construction worker, or if you live in the “wrong” neighborhood, you stand a good chance, according to the FNV, of ending up in the “potential fraudster” category. Since 2004, the so-called fraud score card has been used by at least 158 municipalities. In 2020, the court banned the use of such indicators of fraud risk.
Additional checks by the Tax and Customs Department
The Confederation of Dutch Municipalities (VNG) has urged municipalities to immediately stop using the fraud scorecard. Most of the municipalities have responded to this, with the exception of the five municipalities against which the FNV has now filed a complaint. They only stop after the revelations of Argos in June 2022.
This is the result of years of government policy in which people who receive benefits are portrayed as independent
As a result of this broadcast, the FNV has opened a hotline where benefit recipients can check if they have been classified as potential fraud when applying for benefits. The Reporting Center received a total of 165 reports. More than 50 percent of reporters have no idea why they are suspected. According to the FNV, there are shocking stories of people who have received a home visit or extra money check from the Tax and Customs Administration as a result of this system.
additional cost issue
According to FNV Vice President Kitty Jung, this is a perfect example of how the government treats its citizens and shows how much that needs to change. Chung: This is the result of years of government policy in which people who receive benefits are portrayed as independent. While research has shown for years that fraud is negligible.”
Risk indicators were also used in the benefit case. The Tax and Customs Administration was reprimanded and fined for this by the Dutch Data Protection Authority. The FNV now wants the regulator to fine the five municipalities.
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