VVD party leader Klaas Dijkhoff has been wrongly reimbursed 4,900 euros in travel expenses each year and will refund this amount, HP / De Tijd reports Wednesday. In addition, he still waives the controversial redundancy scheme. As a result of this scheme, he received 37,000 euros on top of his salary as a member of parliament, because he was a short-term minister in the previous cabinet.
Research by HP / De Tijd shows that Dijkhoff receives a travel allowance of 4,900 euros for travel within the Netherlands, while as chairman of the political group he has a car with driver that is paid by the VVD.
As a result, Dijkhoff does not incur any additional travel costs. In a reaction to Facebook, the VVD party appears guilty and speaks of "a stupid mistake". "As a result, I received a reimbursement that I never wanted to receive."
Dijkhoff says he tried to stop the double reimbursement. He says he did not look at his wage slip afterwards to check whether the cancellation had been implemented.
Dijkhoff nevertheless cancels redundancy payment
In the message, the VVD party leader also addresses the redundancy payment that he received until recently. "Now that the discussion has flared up, including how these arrangements should look in the future, a new dimension is being added," he writes.
"That is why I have decided to put aside my opinion and to immediately stop the allowance (better known as: redundancy pay)." The VVD member does not intend to repay the collected redundancy money
Dijkhoff received about 37,000 euros in redundancy pay per year, because he was Secretary of State for Asylum and a month of defense minister. The VVD member is entitled to this for more than three years according to the law.
He received the allowance on top of the 115,000 euros per year and allowances for his group chairmanship.
Dijkhoff: Right to redundancy
PvdA MPs Lodewijk Asscher and Lilianne Ploumen, who were also ministers in the previous cabinet, did not accept the extra money. Asscher believes that it is not appropriate to receive redundancy pay in addition to the salary of MP. "I have a great salary." VVD MP Mark Harbers, until recently Secretary of State for Asylum, also abandoned the scheme.
Dijkhoff thought and still thinks he is entitled to the allowance. "I still fully support the scheme and everyone, whether in national, provincial or local politics, who receives what she or he has worked for under that scheme."
Prime Minister Mark Rutte said last Friday "fully behind" Dijkhoff's decision to collect the redundancy money.