There will be a new support package from the government for companies and self-employed people who are in dire straits due to the corona crisis. According to sources in The Hague, the support scheme for self-employed persons (‘Tozo’) will be extended, but in addition to a partner test, an asset test will also apply: this means that self-employed persons will not be eligible for support if they have more than a certain amount of their own money.
A lot of details are still being discussed, but the new package will be more sober than the previous two and it will have a longer running time. The current (second) package runs until 1 October; the intention is that the third package will remain in force until 1 July, i.e. until after the elections to the House of Representatives in March.
Minister Koolmees said today that keeping jobs and businesses afloat remains the goal, but he acknowledged that in many cases this will not succeed and that we are now “in another phase”.
Above all, there is a lot of discussion about wage support in the Temporary Emergency Measure Bridging Employment (NOW). Nowadays, companies that make use of it must have a loss of turnover of 20 percent. That percentage may be increased, so that more companies will have to take care of themselves. But it is not yet clear how high the percentage will be. There are various scenarios on the table, up to 40 percent.
A similar discussion is taking place about the part of the salary of the employees concerned paid by the government under the NOW scheme. Now this is 90 percent, but it may be reduced in stages.
The special support for flex workers who lost their jobs due to the corona crisis and who are not eligible for WW or assistance disappears: it was meant as a one-off arrangement.
Not completely satisfied
Employers and unions are not completely satisfied yet. FNV chairman Busker said after his consultation that he does not see why the salary percentages in the NOW scheme should be reduced. “There must be generous support for companies. They can then use the time to retrain people so that they can be guided from work to work. The social aspect has so far been underexposed.”
VNO-NCW-forman De Boer said that he is not completely reassured about the developments yet. He advocates extending the NOW scheme for three months, during which time he will think about the period after that. “The agenda is good, but I’m worried about the measurements.”
Statutory income tax and self-employment deduction
The whole day is negotiated in all kinds of different formations: in the cabinet, with the chairmen of the government parties and with representatives of employers and employees. The coalition deliberation lasts until the evening.
It’s also about next year’s budget.