Strict conditions should be attached to any future coronavirus bail out for industry, including a ban on help for companies based in tax havens, according to opposition parties GroenLinks and the PvdA.
GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver told television talk show Jinek the government should make sure taxpayers’ money, which is meant to help companies pay wages, does not end up in shareholders’ pockets.
This also means companies which pay senior staff bonuses or dividends should be excluded from any future cash hand-out, he said. In addition, he wants the Netherlands to follow Denmark’s lead and exclude companies based in tax havens from getting any government help.
‘I believe that if we support big firms, they should have to pay as well, and that means paying tax in the Netherlands during the good times,’ he said.
Labour (PvdA) leader Lodewijk Asscher, appearing on the Op1 talk show, made similar comments. ‘It is only right that we help companies but now is the time to make clear agreements,’ he said. ‘The man in the street picked up the bill for the banking crisis. Can we please make up for that this time.’
The cabinet has allocated some €19bn to help companies and the self-employed cope with the impact of coronavirus up to July 1, but finance minister Wopke Hoekstra has already said the package can be extended if necessary.’
Airline KLM came under fire at the weekend for saying it was pressing ahead with plans to increase the bonus payable to its CEO, but soon backtracked after public and political pressure.
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