Towards a stronger constitutional State, which means that the government must dare to trust citizens more Comment

If the government wants people to trust it, it must first learn to trust its own citizens. Don’t clog everything up with too many untraceable and incomprehensible rules and communicate more clearly and simply.

“We have to work hard to earn the trust of the Dutch.” There are only two more lines left in the Misplaced agreement This phrase already exists in PVV, BBB, NSC and VVD. The word constitutional State is mentioned eleven times in the article. This at least indicates a clear awareness of the importance of a strong rule of law.

It is obvious to say that of all politicians, the winner of the election is the one who has worked the hardest over the years to undermine the rule of law. And when it comes to verbal abuse, things are indeed heading in that direction. But it is precisely the intermediate parties that have blocked politics for decades with a jungle of systems, rules, regulations with exceptions and penal clauses and, therefore, have undermined confidence in a State that does justice.

Indeed, the gas extraction scandal and the surcharge issue always immediately appear as an example of this, but it is about much more. In general, the government has focused too much on containing costs and preventing errors and abuses. And there are also too many expectations that people follow and understand the ever-growing mountain of rules.

sung loose

That political-official reality has become disconnected from the capabilities of the people. From the strongholds of The Hague, filled with highly educated people, it is too easily assumed that people will find, understand and apply the options and regulations, the exceptions and penalty clauses. A serious miscalculation.

A striking example of this presented recently labor inspection to the light. More than 60,000 people in the Netherlands live below the poverty line, often well below the poverty line, because they are unaware of the income supplement they can apply for. The head of the UWV himself considers it a shame. Let everything be much simpler, is Nathalie van Berkel’s message to the new cabinet. Simply increase the level of standard benefits so that people can live off of it without having to worry about making ends meet without going into the red at the bank.

Inconsiderate

The fact that life is made too difficult by too many unfamiliar and overly complicated rules is an odious example of government neglect of its own citizens, says the State Commission for the Rule of Law in his recently presented research on the relationship between government and citizens. And it is a challenge: around €1 billion a year would be needed to adequately support the rule of law. This is five times more than budgeted in the framework agreement. So there is still a lot of work to do.

Hoofdredactie@frieschdagblad.nl

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