Labour: No support 3rd coronavirus aid package without job guarantees
Labor party PvdA will not support the government's third package of coronavirus support measures unless some changes are made. "We want a work-to-work guarantee so that people who now have a job do not end up on benefits," PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher said to RTL Nieuws.
The current ruling coalition, including Prime Minister Mark Rutte's VVD, the CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie, does not have a majority in the Eerste Kamer, the upper house of Dutch parliament. This means they need the support of opposition parties like the PvdA to get anything passed.
Last week the government announced the third coronavirus support package, which will cost around 11 billion euros. The NOW scheme for wage support is being extended, so that employers in trouble can still pay their employees. There will also still be income support for self-employed persons in trouble due to the crisis.
€1 billion of that money is reserved for retraining, to help people who lost their jobs due to the crisis find a new one more quickly. But that means little if it is not used in the right way, Asscher said to the broadcaster. "If you don't use it properly, it's a waste of money."
According to the PvdA, the primary goal of the support package should be to ensure that people can keep working. "That makes a huge difference to those people, but it is also better for our economy," Asscher said. The package therefore needs more guarantees that will help employees keep their jobs, he said. "We therefore want, as a condition for new support, that people for whom work ends are guided to other work."
"I think the cabinet would do well to listen to the plans of the PvdA," Asscher said. "We are not doing this for nothing, we stand for work, income and job security, I cannot imagine that the cabinet will ignore this completely."