On Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, the Rutte III cabinet fell over the "benefits affair. This happened after the House of Representatives published an investigation into what went wrong (Unprecedented Injustice). From Control Alt Delete, we are following this issue closely because the Internal Revenue Service, like the police and the Royal Military Police, works with risk profiles where ethnicity is part of the risk profile.
In the Cabinet response to the report, the government wrote: "parents with non-Dutch nationality and parents with dual nationality were more likely to be audited by the Tax Office on that basis alone. The Cabinet deeply regrets this and wants to ensure that this can never happen again."
This never again
With this response, the government (h)acknowledges that Dutch citizens were structurally treated unequally by the Tax Authority. The Personal Data Authority previously concluded that there was discrimination on nationality. In addition, the Human Rights Board is investigating whether there was also racial discrimination. Together with the cabinet we say: never again!
We call on the House of Representatives not to wait for the investigation by the Human Rights Board. Take that first important step already and make sure the risk profiles are adjusted: nationality and ethnicity should never be part of an (automated) risk profile.
Setting a clear standard is a necessary first step in countering discrimination and institutional racism. This standard should start to apply to the Tax Administration, the police, the KMar, the UWV and the other 54 government agencies that use predictive algorithms.
This call is supported by all anti-discrimination services united in Discrimination.com:
Discrimination Hotline Groningen
Discrimination Hotline Tumba (Friesland)
Equal Treatment Office Flevoland
Art. 1 North East Gelderland
Art. 1 North Holland North
MDRA (Amsterdam anti-discrimination agency)
Bureau Discrimination Affairs Kennemerland
Art. 1 Central Netherlands (Utrecht)
IDB Foundation (anti-discrimination agency The Hague).
RADAR (Rotterdam anti-discrimination agency)
Anti Discrimination Bureau Zeeland
And in addition by:
S.P.E.A.K., collectively for and by Muslim womenxn
Netherlands Gets Better, for a future free of racism and exclusion
Tom de Zwart, professor of cross cultural law at Utrecht University
Dutch Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (NJCM)
New Urban Collective / The Black Archives