The coronastun has also been extended by nine months for the self-employed, but the conditions have become stricter. For example, you will no longer receive a supplement to your income if you have more than 46,520 euros in savings. Only if you don’t have enough money yourself to keep your head above water can you claim the coronasteun.
In the first three months some 374 thousand zzp’ers made use of the support. In the second round the conditions became stricter: a partner test was applied. Currently, about 95 thousand people use the second round. Part of them will no longer be entitled to the Temporary bridging scheme for independent entrepreneurs (Tozo) in the third round because of this equity test
Don’t eat your own house
The last few days there were rumours about an asset test, but it was still unclear whether a house of your own would be included, and how high the threshold would be. “I spoke to people who were very afraid that they would now have to make a living with a few thousand euros of savings,” says Maaike van Steenis, entrepreneurial coach in the cultural sector. “But the threshold amount turns out to be quite high, that’s good.”
But there are still a few comments to be made. “If you have put something in a normal savings account every month for your retirement, or less, then you will be disadvantaged,” says Van Steenis. “Or self-employed people who incur a lot of costs, they can also have a high amount of money set aside for investments. They have to make a living out of that now.”
Sebastiaan ten Broek takes into account that due to the adjustment he will no longer be entitled to the Tozo. “The past few months I have mainly lived on a Tozo benefit, my buffer and the few assignments I had left”, says Ten Broek. He is a technician in the events sector. Normally he designs stages and is project leader at festivals and corporate events. “At the beginning of the corona crisis, I started offering online courses in technical drawing, and I also set up a website for that purpose,” he says. “But the customer base became less and less. People from the events sector don’t invest now, of course.”
Ten Broek also has a house for sale. “If that’s sold, I’ll get excess value out of it,” he says. About half a ton, he estimates. With that he would have too much money in the bank to be able to make use of the third round of Tozo support. “The surplus value was also intended as an incentive for my pension, but if my house is sold I’ll have to go into it.”
It is now becoming increasingly important to start thinking about replacement work. “In my sector, it’s not starting to attract. I do think about it: do I want to make a living from short-term zzp jobs or do I have to choose a completely different technical profession? That’s a long-term choice.”
These independent entrepreneurs are worried about the new equity test. “Savings aren’t something you can just eat up.”
Ellen van der Ham is singing pedagogue. “I coach one-on-one, but I also have my own women’s choir and in the fall I always conduct a large choir project.” Because of corona everything came to a standstill. “I did teach some people via the laptop, but that was impossible to do. The voice and the sound of people is completely distorted because of that.”
A number of lessons and rehearsals have started again, but Van der Ham notices that some people no longer want to come. “A lot of people drop out. They say: I’ve become so scared, I don’t dare anymore. Because they or their husbands are in a high-risk group. I find that very sad.”
What Van der Ham earned in recent months, was supplemented via the Tozo scheme to the social minimum, 1050 euros per month. She can probably also make use of the third round of support, because she has less than the limit of 46,520 euros in savings.
The future in its sector and field is uncertain. “I’m now in a specialty that I’m really good at. Within the music world I can express my entrepreneurship and creativity. But if that’s no longer possible in the future, I know that I can also enter the world of the speaking voice”, she says. “If one thing doesn’t work out, we’ll try the other. That is the salvation of many people in the cultural profession: we are creative and can come up with new solutions.”
Tozo 3 is valid until July 2021. After that date, self-employed persons can only appeal to the regular assistance for self-employed persons (Bbz). In addition to a partner test and an equity test, this scheme also includes a viability test.