Dutch set aside €19bn to help coronavirus hit industry and freelancers

The Dutch government has so far set aside €19bn in measures to support industry and incomes hit by the coronavirus crisis, according to calculations by business broadcaster RTLZ.

The money has been allocated to a wide variety of schemes, from help with wage bills for companies whose turnover has dried up, to income support for freelancers, and extra help for the arts and the cut flower sectors.

The government said at the time it first announced cash help that the bill for the current quarter would be between €10bn and €20bn. The actual amount of money will depend on how many companies apply for help.

New equipment

Meanwhile, MPs from two of the four ruling parties have called on the defence ministry to place new orders for equipment with Dutch companies as much as possible.

‘This would be a win win situation,’ VVD MP Andre Bosman told the AD on Monday.

One project currently out to tender is a €3.5bn order for new submarines. Two of the three consortia still in the running have a Dutch partner.

The CDA would go further than the VVD and says EU rules on putting large contracts out to European tender should be suspended temporarily. ‘I want the cabinet to make it possible for us to order equipment in our own country during the coronavirus crisis,’ MP Martijn van Helvert told the paper.

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