Gov't Covid support saved at least 65,000 jobs: Planning Office
The Dutch government's coronavirus support package saved between 65 thousand and 180 thousand jobs, central planning office CPB calculated. Without the support, the Dutch economy would have shrunk another 0.6 percent. The support package was therefore effective in 2020 - many people kept their income, unemployment did not skyrocket, and few companies went bankrupt, the CPB said, NOS reports.
The CPB looked at the NOW scheme for wage support, the TVL scheme that covered struggling companies' fixed costs, and the TOZO income support scheme for self-employed persons, and their effect in 2020. The support package for companies this year, which is ending to a large extent on Friday, was not included.
The planning office concluded that many companies survived thanks to government support, but added that this also included companies that would likely have gone bankrupt if there was no pandemic and therefore no support. This could dampen economic growth in the future, the CPB said. "As the crisis lasted longer, these (hidden) costs of aid policies increased and the benefits of job retention decreased," the researchers said.
The pandemic-related economic uncertainty diminished since the summer of last year, and with that the disadvantages of aid increased while the advantages decreased, the CPB said. More research is needed to determine the trade-off between the support package's benefits and costs over time.
The CPB also looked at the Dutch support package in comparison with other countries. The Netherlands spent 30 billion euros, or 3.6 percent of the gross domestic product, on coronavirus support for companies in 2020. That is slightly higher than the European average of 3.3 percent of GDP. The Dutch economy shrank relatively less sharply and unemployment rose less rapidly than elsewhere in Europe.