50Plus Leader Krol Resigns due to Fraud
THE HAGUE, 05/10/13 - The successful party for the elderly, 50 Plus, has lost its leader. Henk Krol resigned on Friday after a report in De Volkskrant newspaper that as a businessman, he took pension premiums from his personnel and put theim in his own pocket.
Krol said in a statement that he is leaving the House. “I cannot do otherwise than resign my post.” MP Norbert Klein will temporarily take over Krol’s tasks as parliamentary leader. The seat freed up by Krol’s resignation will be taken by Martine Baay-Timmerman.
Krol, 63, was for years director and chief editor of a magazine for the gay community, GayKrant. De Volkskrant reported Friday that between 2004 and 2007, he paid no employer contribution for the pensions of his employees. The money that the people themselves paid was kept back.
The personnel were asked in mid-2007 in a statement to give up the pension contributions for the previous four years. If the personnel would not sign up to this, the company would according to Krol go bankrupt. In March 2013, the GayKrant did go bankrupt.
Krol retained a total of tens of thousands of euros which should have been paid to pension insurer Nationale Nederlanden. Krol said Friday he did not know for years about the non-payment of pension contributions. “ It was the responsibility of a female staff member who did not do her work properly.” Nonetheless, it is “impossible for me to go on as public representative after the publication in De Volkskrant.”
The departure of Krol could have big consequences for political relations in the longer term. Although 50 Plus only has two seats in the Lower House now, the party has for a long time been running at around 8 to 15 seats in the polls. It seems reasonable to suppose that the party will now lose support.