Dutch cabinet faces demands for tougher conditions on corporate bail-outs
The Dutch cabinet is prepared to extend its coronavirus bail-out for industry but is facing mounting pressure to bring in tougher conditions, the Financieele Dagblad said on Wednesday.
In particular, MPs want the cabinet to make sure companies which get taxpayer help do not pay any bonuses or dividends while they are being supported, the paper said. And left-wing opposition MPs have also said that companies based in tax havens should automatically be excluded from state support.
Now, the coalition Liberal democrats D66 have said they too support a bonus and dividend ban for 2020 and 2021, the FD said. The FNV trade union federation has also come out in favour of such a move.
‘It would be insane if big companies which hold out their hand for help give money to their shareholders,’ chairman Han Busker said.
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. He too has hinted at tougher conditions.
Meanwhile, research by website De Ondernemer suggests that one third of firms face difficulty in financing this year’s holiday pay, traditionally included in salaries at the end of May.
Ministers are expected to finalise a second round of help for companies by early next month.
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