Published On: Fri, Mar 27th, 2020

Stimulus Plan only contains proposals

PHILIPSBURG – Plans for emergency measures to mitigate the effects of the corona-virus so far do not include the key recommendations proposed by private sector organizations. The government published its so-called Stimulus Plan on March 26. It does not contain direct measures, but only a list of eighteen proposals designed to provide relief for the next three to six months. Quite some proposals require the cooperation of third parties.

Where the private sector organizations want an across the board payroll subsidy of 90 percent, the government offers payroll supplement for employees that risk losing their jobs. The supplement is 750 to 1,350 guilders ($419 to $755). The plan ignores the private sector’s suggestion to reduce the turnover tax from 5 to zero percent.

The second proposal is income supplement for the same amounts for active plate holding bus and taxi drivers, independent tour operators, licensed vendors and market vendors.

Under the heading food support the government has two measures in mind. The first one is the provision of monthly food vouchers worth 450 guilders (around $250) for payroll supplement recipients and bus and taxi drivers, independent tour operators, and vendors as mentioned above.

Under general relief measures the government proposes an unspecified reduction of the fuel clause on GEBE-bills for six months, a ban on disconnections during this period and unspecified lower fuel prices starting on March 31. Furthermore the government proposes that telecommunication providers relax payment deadlines and disconnection dates in combination with increased data plans.

Other proposals under this header require the cooperation from third parties. This applies for instance to deferred lease payments from car dealerships and a moratorium on loans for three to six months (“No capital payments, nor interest,” the stimulus plan states). Deferred government student loans for three to six months are another suggestion. Lastly, the government proposes “special working capital to corporate clients by several banks on a case by case basis.”

Under fiscal measures the government proposes August 31 as the new deadline for filing 2019 income tax returns and June 30 for provisional profit tax returns. The deadline for filing the final profit tax return will be extended but the plan does not give a new deadline.

Another plan is to extend payment arrangements “for businesses experiencing cash flow problems.” Again, this will be handled on a case by case basis whereby businesses have to present “evidence of hardship.”

Audits will be suspended, and the stimulus plan also proposes business liquidity support loans and increased support for the rent committee.

Lastly, the plan asks landlords to refrain from evicting tenants and to reduce rent or accept suspension of payments, “considering relief provided by the banks.”

Stimulus Plan Infographic

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Related links:
Private sector pleads with government for short-term rescue package
Stimulus Plan (complete document)