News item | 17-03-2023 | 3:30 pm

    During the corona lockdowns, the cabinet helped entrepreneurs and workers with extensive support packages. The NOW, Fixed Charges Allowance (TVL) and TOZO have maintained jobs and businesses. After all, salaries and fixed costs continued and had to be paid, while some companies had to close temporarily to prevent the spread of the virus. However, generic support packages are unsustainable in the long term. The government has therefore commissioned a study to determine whether support is more targeted, and preferably per sector. The Council of Ministers concludes that this is not feasible from a legal and implementation point of view. Specific corona support is not possible per sector, but only by, for example, making an arrangement for specifically heavily affected entrepreneurs based on, for example, loss of turnover.

    The Netherlands has entered the so-called endemic phase with regard to the corona virus. If the virus nevertheless revives again, the cabinet wants to keep society open as much as possible, the focus is mainly on prevention and not on temporary closure of companies. But if, in extreme cases, a complete and long-term closure is necessary, the cabinet wants to support entrepreneurs in that situation as specifically as possible.

    At the same time, it has been established that long periods of government support hinder economic dynamism, causing the labor market to stagnate, for example. In addition, the support measures sometimes compensated for losses in turnover that were not caused by contact-restricting measures. The expenditure for the support package is also not financially sustainable for the Netherlands in the longer term.

    During the corona crisis, continuous attempts were made to shape corona support in a targeted and sectoral manner. They ran into implementation problems. At the request of the cabinet, external researchers have mapped out the options for more targeted corona support.

    Insurance or guarantee fund

    An insurance or guarantee fund that entrepreneurs want to take out, that insurers want to offer and that keeps the burden for the government limited, is proving difficult to shape. Risks associated with a pandemic are difficult to insure, making fully private insurance unfeasible. The cabinet has decided not to develop an insurance and guarantee fund any further.

    Demarcation via company codes

    Defining aid based on SBI codes proved legally untenable during the pandemic. SBI codes are assigned by the Chamber of Commerce (KvK) on the basis of the description of business activities that entrepreneurs submit to the Chamber of Commerce. However, these codes were not always up to date or accurate. As a result, companies did not receive support that they needed and vice versa. The researchers have looked at this again, but this has not found a way to delineate support via SBI codes that is both legally tenable and technically feasible.