Hoekstra: companies and people have to adapt, and sometimes look for new work

With the corona support package presented today, the cabinet comes with a twofold message. There will continue to be support for companies that need it, but many people will have to look for new work. “It is up to entrepreneurs themselves to make a plan for the future every time. I can’t advise at company level”, says finance minister Wopke Hoekstra in conversation with Nieuwsuur.

The support package will be prolonged, but the schemes will become more sober, and we will also look at how the support will be rounded off. In this way Minister Hoekstra forces people and companies to adapt. “We have developed a lot of policy for retraining and to guide people from work to work,” says Hoekstra.

Long period of loss of sales ahead

The Minister points out the major differences within sectors. “Within the hospitality industry you see big differences. Beach tents and businesses with large terraces have done well in the good weather, but discotheques are in a difficult position. With the current measures, this is a sector that still has a long period of loss of turnover ahead of it.”

The Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB) previously advised austerity measures, such as the NOW wage payment measure, so that companies are not kept alive by the government. Nevertheless, the Cabinet is maintaining the NOW. “The package will be phased out in the next nine months. It is becoming increasingly sober, but we think it is very important that as many companies as possible survive the crisis.”

Are savings inescapable?

Hoekstra hopes that this is the last package presented by the Cabinet. “That would mean that the economy would no longer need such an extreme. But we don’t know how the virus will develop, or how the economy will develop.”

Look below at the whole conversation with Minister Wopke Hoekstra.