The Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, has offered his resignation to King Willem-Alexander after the fall of his government today.
The fall of the government comes following a parliamentary inquiry into a scandal at the Tax and Customs administration during which thousands of families were faced with financial ruin after they were wrongly accused of fraud with childcare subsidies. In some cases, this led to unemployment, bankruptcies and divorces. The inquiry report described governmental mismanagement as an “unprecedented injustice” and many of the families were said to have been targeted based on their ethnic origins or dual nationalities.
The Prime Minister travelled to Huis ten Bosch Palace on the outskirts of The Hague to officially offer his resignation. It was the first time that King Willem-Alexander has received a Prime Minister’s resignation during his reign.
The first government led by Mark Rutte fell in 2012 during the reign of King Willem-Alexander’s mother Queen Beatrix. She abdicated in her son’s favour the following year. King Willem-Alexander has officially taken the resignation “into consideration” and has asked the ministers to continue to do “what is necessary in the interest of the Kingdom.” The Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy requested to be relieved of his duties and this request was granted by King Willem-Alexander.
The government will remain in caretaker status for now as new parliamentary elections had already been set for 17 March.