Dutch news in brief, 30 June 2005

30th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

Tax office to use customer-friendly envelopes

Tax office to use customer-friendly envelopes

About six million households in the Netherlands will receive a white and red envelope from the tax office, or Belastingdienst, in September. The government decided in March that the tax service should be pro-active in telling people if they may be eligible for subsidies for rent, health or for child care. "Normally the tax office claims money and in this case we are giving it back. But most people associate the traditional blue envelopes with having to pay money. Therefore we have developed a new white envelope with imprint," a spokesperson for the tax office said.

Shell avoids prosecution over reserves

Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell will not face criminal charges from federal authorities in the US over the overstatement of its oil and gas reserves, it was reported on Thursday. A federal prosecutor said regulatory fines imposed on Shell and its willingness to co-operate with the investigation meant a prosecution would not be in the public interest. Shell caused shock waves internationally last year when it revealed its reserves were 20 percent lower than it had previously indicated.

Review for all TBS furlough

All current provisional leave arrangements for offenders in TBS secure hospitals must be vetted to gauge the risk of further crimes being committed, MPs have decided. If there is any doubt about an offender's behaviour he should not be given furlough again, a majority in Parliament agreed during a debate sparked by the alleged murder committed by a man who escaped while returning to a TBS clinic after visiting his family.

Employers may have to contribute to childcare

The government has indicated it will consider making it obligatory for employers to pay a portion of childcare costs if this is not agreed in CAO pay and conditions agreements, Finance Minister Gerrit Zalm told parliament on Thursday. Under a new childcare law, parents, employers and the government are each to pay a third of the cost of childcare for working families. The employer contribution is not obligatory and has not figured in some CAO deals finalised recently.

Dutch human rights get thumbs up

The Netherlands maintains human rights and democracy well, according to Egbert Myjer, the Dutch judge on the European Court of Human Rights. He said the court hardly ever has to give judgement against the Netherlands. When it does, the rulings usually relate to small procedural matters. The court delivered nine judgements about the Netherlands in 2004, only 1.5 percent of the total 621 rulings in that year. The figures were similar in the two previous years.

Jet makes emergency stop

The pilot of a Fly-Air jet was forced to make an emergency stop while attempting to take off from Schiphol on Wednesday evening. Officials of the Transport Inspectorate noted damage to one of the engines after the incident. Fly-Air is a Turkish budget airline. In May another Turkish low cost airline, Onur Air, was banned from flying in and out of Schiphol due to concerns about its safety record. The ban was lifted after two weeks when the airline introduced new procedures.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news


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