Economy

Great Tit: workers have to adapt to new reality

This is what Minister Wouter Koolmees of Social Affairs and Employment said in a special RTL Z broadcast tonight. In the broadcast, Koolmees highlighted the third support package that runs from October to June and answered questions from entrepreneurs and self-employed workers.

Search for alternatives

Koolmees emphasized that the cabinet will continue to support the economy until the summer, but that the conditions for the support will be increasingly strict.

The new support period is aimed at giving companies, employees and self-employed persons who have been hit hard by the corona crisis the opportunity to recover. But if that is not possible, they must look for other options.

‘Downsizing is the reality’

“I have two messages. We will continue to support. But companies and employees must adapt to the new circumstances where necessary,” said Koolmees bluntly.

“There are sectors where corona will have a structural impact on business operations, such as corporate catering or the travel industry. The reality is that many companies will have to downsize or even go bankrupt. Many employees will have to work in another sector.”

Power test self-employed ‘inevitable’

The stricter conditions for support for self-employed persons, including a capital test, are also inevitable, says Koolmees. They also have to switch to other sectors if there is structurally less work in their field.

The minister acknowledges that such a transition will be difficult in a likely rapidly shrinking labor market. “I don’t want to tell fairytales here. But there are sectors where a lot of people are still needed. People who work for a caterer or KLM will be able to retrain for work in education or healthcare, for example.”

Rotten apples

Koolmees says he is against the government keeping the money tap wide open, in the hope of maintaining all economic sectors. “It’s about tax money. We have to use it as efficiently as possible.”

The Minister of Social Affairs and Employment says that he does not yet know exactly how settlements and repayments of previous aid will take place, if it turns out to have been wrongly granted afterwards.

He does say that there are built-in guarantees against fraud. “There are always rotten apples. But through the UWV, the accountants and mobile brigades that are going to carry out random checks, we think we can get a lot of bad apples out of it.”

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