A victim of the Childcare Benefits Scandal (in Dutch: Toeslagenaffaire) has sued the State of the Netherlands in (summary) preliminary relief proceedings due to the absence of a (transitional) arrangement for ex-partners affected by the affair. Due to a formality, Roger Derikx, plaintiff in this case, does not qualify for the arrangement the State has set up for victims (the so-called Catshuis-arrangement). Only the official applicant for the childcare benefits is eligible. Ex-partners such as Derikx, who were also victims, are not eligible for this arrangement. Approximately 7,000 to 9,800 people are in a similar situation. The government has recognized that a special arrangement must be made for these ex-partners and has submitted such an arrangement to the House of Representatives. However, it has not provided for a transitional arrangement to prevent those affected from suffering further and more damage in the meantime.
Roger Derikx was married between 2008 and 2014. He and his partner have two children, for whom they applied for childcare benefits from 2005 onwards. As of 2010, they were labelled as fraudsters and were repeatedly confronted with recoveries by the Tax Department, which led to serious debts. Tensions and financial difficulties finally led to their divorce in 2014. After the divorce, both experienced the consequences of the debt-related problems caused by the governmental failure at issue. The consequences were so severe that Derikx did not have a home for years.
In 2020, both Derikx and his wife registered as victims of the Childcare Benefits Scandal with the Tax Department. As a result of this registration, a so-called temporary debt moratorium came into effect, which acts as a pause button to prevent victims from getting into further problems pending the Tax Department's assessment. Derikx was able to pick his life up again during that time. He found a job, and has been renting a home again since 1 May 2021. However, on 11 May 2021, the Tax Department sent him an notice of intent to reject his application for the Catshuis-arrangement. The reason was that he was not the official applicant of the benefits. His ex-wife on the other hand, who was the official applicant, has been recognized as a victim. Upon the rejection of his claim, the debt moratorium was lifted. As a result, Derikx has fallen between two stools. He meets the requirements for the ex-partner arrangement currently pending in the House of Representatives, but because it has not been officially adopted at this time, he cannot apply for it yet.
Since the debt moratorium was lifted, Derikx is at risk of losing what he has rebuilt because he is once again confronted with debt collection measures by various creditors. One creditor has seized his wages, leaving Derikx with insufficient funds to pay his fixed expenses. He has requested that the State reinstates the debt moratorium until the ex-partner arrangement comes into effect, or that it takes alternative, temporary measure to prevent further damages. Despite the fact that the ex-partner arrangement shows that the State acknowledges that ex-partners are also victims of the Childcare Benefits Scandal, the State rejected the requests. In order to prevent further damages, Derikx now turns to the courts in (summary) prelimiary relief proceedings.