Retraining a main focus in third coronavirus support package
The government reached an agreement with trade unions and employers on the third package to support businesses through the coronavirus crisis. One of the main points of focus is retraining people who lost their jobs due to the coronavirus, so they can find a new job more quickly. The government dedicated over a billion euros to this, RTL Nieuws reports.
"The cabinet made a move our way," FNV negotiator Han Busker said after the meeting at the Ministry of Economic Affairs, according to the broadcaster. Employers' organization VNO-NCW is satisfied, director Hans de Boer said. "The support package is good. Tribute to the cabinet," he said.
Not many details are known about the support package yet - the Council of Ministers still has to approve it on Friday. The expectation is that fewer companies will be eligible for this new package, and subsidies will be less generous. But the package will last much longer than the first two, until the summer of next year instead of just a few months.
Earlier this week sources leaked that the biggest change will be in the NOW regulation, with which the government covers salaries for companies in trouble. Currently, the government pays 90 percent of salaries for companies that suffer at least a 20 percent loss of turnover. In the new package, only companies that suffer a 30 percent loss of turnover will qualify. And the percentage of the wage bill that the government covers will gradually be reduced from 90 percent to 60 percent.
The purpose of the third package is to get through the coronavirus crisis with as strong an economy as possible, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said after negotiations on the package during the early hours of Thursday morning. "Everything is aimed at that." The subsidies in this package are intended only for companies that really won't survive the crisis without government support, such as companies in hard hit sectors like catering and culture.