The fact that two senior officials knew about an earlier memo to proceed with compensation, but did not tell the whole truth about it to the POK, is angered. There is also annoyance about the deliberate not archiving of the explosive Palmen memo from 2017, as RTL Nieuws and Trouw report. In that memo, compensation was proposed for a group of aggrieved parents. But it was ignored and withheld in both 2017 and 2019.
SP: engage a lawyer
SP MP Renske Leijten is going to propose to the House to ask the permanent lawyer of the parliament for legal advice ‘whether this is not a case of perjury’. “We already knew that the House and society were lied to, but it seems that this goes deeper.”
She wants the parliamentary lawyer to investigate whether the POK has received all officially requested information from the ministry, and that the lawyer fillet the statements made under oath by the highest official of the Ministry of Finance and the Tax and Customs Administration. Leijten was a member of the POK and, together with CDA member Pieter Omtzigt, one of the parliamentarians who put the allowance affair on the political agenda.
For the summer debate
Before the summer, she wants a debate about the reconstruction of RTL Nieuws and Trouw, in which the question must also be answered whether there is a question of ‘misleading’ parliament, says Leijten.
DENK faction leader Farid Azarkan says there was “suspected perjury” and wants to get to the bottom of the matter. He points out that the parliamentary questioning under oath is ‘the heaviest instrument’ that the House can use. If the full truth does not come out then ‘there should be a sanction for that’.
‘Unacceptable and reprehensible behaviour’
PvdA member Henk Nijboer says as a Member of Parliament he is unable to assess whether perjury has been committed. “That is really at the discretion of the Public Prosecution Service. If there is really a lie, there is also a penalty.” He also calls the deliberate non-archiving of the memo Palms, which resurfaced again in 2019, ‘very serious’. “Both the suggestion and of course that the top went along with it. That is completely unacceptable and reprehensible behaviour.”
Azarkan says it seems that the official and political top of the Tax Authorities have deliberately withheld information ‘to save their own skin’. According to SP, PvdA and Denk, it is established that compensation for victims should have been made in June 2019 and that it should have been recognized at that time that the problems were much more extensive. Then problems for affected parents would have been solved sooner.