The Cabinet is showing its good side with its plans for investment and purchasing power improvement. That is what trade unions and employers say in response to the Speech from the Throne. Nevertheless, there are also major doubts about how the plans will turn out.
“Calling for an increase in purchasing power is a completely unbelievable story”, says Reinier Castelein, chairman of trade union De Unie. “Municipal and provincial taxes are skyrocketing, and every Dutchman feels that directly in his wallet
Trade union CNV is positive about the plans, but also looks beyond the improvement in purchasing power. “The fact remains that the corona crisis hangs over the Dutch economy like a dark cloud“, says chairman Piet Fortune. “We are facing more than half a million unemployed. This gives this sunny day a nasty aftertaste“
FNV is pleased with the investments, but now calls it very important that people keep their jobs. “The cabinet must ensure that the investments benefit the people who do the work, they are the backbone of our economy“, says chairman Han Busker.
Trade union VCP also calls for investment in job retention in particular. “The cabinet rightly chooses to let the budget deficit run up in times of corona. In the coming period, it is important to maintain this course as much as possible and to focus on employment“, said VCP President Nic van Holstein.
Ouderenbond ANBO is critical and fears that the burden reduction is a dead sparrow. “A lot of things have not yet been worked out,” says director Liane den Haan. “For example, there are still many uncertainties in the pension agreement. There is also the threat that pensions will be cut. A further reduction in the purchasing power of millions of pensioners is unacceptable as far as we are concerned“
For freelancers this year is an austere Princes Day, according to the interest group PZO. Director Margreet Drijvers calls it bewildering that in times of crisis the self-employed deduction is being accelerated. “It is precisely in these times that we need to stimulate entrepreneurship and not punish it. With this measure, the Cabinet is affecting all entrepreneurs. Even those entrepreneurs who cannot be compared at all with employees and who guarantee a lot of employment, says Drijvers.
Employers welcome the cabinets decision to invest next year, but there is also criticism.
“The budget is going to help invest out of the crisis and gives confidence,” say VNO-NCW, MKB-Nederland and LTO Nederland in a joint response. “The usual reflex in a crisis is to cut back and put a heavier burden on citizens and businesses, now they are opting for investment and therefore jobs,” says Ingrid Thijssen, chairman of VNO-NCW. “We think that is very sensible
For SMEs it is certainly not all hallelujah yet, says Jacco Vonhof, chairman of MKB-Nederland. “With the corona package and, for example, the reduction in corporation tax, we can give many more SMEs a push in the coming years. But fiscal measures against family businesses, the accelerated phasing-out of the self-employment deduction and the fact that there are still unintentional entrepreneurs outside the corona support measures will not help“
Entrepreneurs organisation ONL is positive about the governments plans, says foreman Hans Biesheuvel. “The government meets the business community with various stimulus measures. With a focus on easing the burden and providing a strong stimulus for investment, the message is clear: the economy must get going, roll up its sleeves and go for it“
Entrepreneurs organisation FME is very disappointed that no more work has been done on lifelong learning. “It is true that substantial investments are being made in innovation via the National Growth Fund, but that only makes sense if there are also enough technologically retrained employees. It is the people who turn the investments into new technologies and products,” says FME President Ineke Dezentjé. “We need to innovate out of the crisis and for that we need a well-trained workforce. This is still not enough in the technology industry today“
“The continuing corona crisis and the deteriorating international trade climate are hitting companies financial resilience ever deeper,” says director Machiel van der Kuijl of the Evofenedex Association of Entrepreneurs. “Then it is good to hear in the speech from the throne that the Cabinet has chosen to invest next year, while at the same time encouraging companies to invest by means of fiscal measures
Bouwend Nederland is concerned about the feasibility of the plans. “The measures help to maintain employment in our sector and make the corona crisis less deep,” says chairman Maxime Verhagen. “But without a solution to the nitrogen problem there is still a risk that the decisions cannot be implemented The builders also believe that start-up loans should be extended and that municipalities should be given more money to tackle overdue maintenance.
Employers in the chemical industry are positive about the governments green ambitions, but mainly point to the announced CO2 tax. “The cabinet is proposing a national tax, but that is more ambitious than the reduction target in Europe,” says Bernard Wientjes, chairman of the VNCI sector association. “A European and ultimately global approach is the most effective and efficient approach to the climate problem. It is therefore good news that the European Commission is expected to come up with a considerable tightening up tomorrow”
The Dutch Association of Estate Agents and Surveyors (NVM) wants an emergency plan to provide suitable accommodation to the 661,500 house hunters according to the authority. “That counter may no longer be increased. They need about 315,000 new homes”, says NVM chairman Onno Hoes. “The housing shortage is on the political agenda, but it is still far from high enough. It seems as if the real urgency has not yet been felt
Banks are disappointed with the failure to continue with the reduction of corporate income tax for larger companies. “Banks are very motivated to continue playing their part in these exceptionally difficult times,” reacts NVB President Chris Buijink. “Partly due to the continuation of lending at higher risks, it is inevitable that banks will suffer losses and profitability will be under pressure. And then it is a pity that the burden imposed on banks by the cabinet will remain high”