Emergency package extended for the Caribbean Netherlands

The Dutch Council of Min­isters last Friday agreed to extend the corona cri­sis package for Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. The subsidy arrange­ment wage cost and loss of income will continue for another nine months, and the reduction of the tariffs of utilities will last another year.

In a letter Minister of Finance Wopke Hoek­stra, Minister of Eco­nomic Affairs and Cli­mate Eric Wiebes and Minister of Social Af­fairs and Labour Wouter Koolmees informed the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament about the continuation of the emergency measures for the Caribbean Nether­lands, as part of a larger document about the third support package for the Netherlands.
“The point of depar­ture remains that for the Caribbean Netherlands a similar approach is se­lected as for the Euro­pean Netherlands. This means that the tempo­rary subsidy arrangement wage cost and loss of in­come will be extended by nine months,” it was stated in the letter.

The temporary subsidy regulation wage cost and income loss Caribbean Netherlands is a regula­tion in which the charac­teristics of the European Netherlands Temporary Emergency Measure Bridging Employment NOW and the Tempo­rary Bridging Regulation Self-employed Entrepre­neurs TOO arc em­braced, be it with some adaptation to the local situation on the islands.

The ministers stated that at the end of this year, an assessment will be made how this regulation will be phased out in the remaining timeframe if the economic situation at that time allows such. The previous emergency package 2.0 runs until October 12, 2020.

In conjunction with this regulation, additional fi­nancial means will be al­located to the public enti­ties Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba for additional flanking policy. These incidental funds amount to 0.5 million euro. Also, the providing of services with regard to labour me­diation will he temporar­ily intensified as part of flanking policy, similar to the Netherlands.

The subsidy regulation to finance the fixed cost of middle and small en­trepreneurs MKB CO­VID-19 will he extended, as will also be the case for businesses in the Nether­lands. Companies with high fixed cost can, de­pending on the size and the extent of turn-over loss, come into consider­ation for a compensation of their fixed cost.

The earlier emergency measure for the Carib­bean Netherlands to temporarily reduce the tariffs of water, electric­ity and telecom will be extended until January 1, 2022. Early 2021, an as­sessment will be made to see whether the situation requires an additional ex­tension.

In order to execute investment projects in the short term that con­tribute to a structural strengthening of the economics of the pub­lic entities, a reserva­tion will be made on the budget, and the financial means will be freed up on the condition that the responsible ministry co-finances the amount for 50 per cent.

Ministers Hoekstra, Wiebes and Koolmees further announced in their letter a phasing out of the temporary deferral of payment of taxes, con­form the deferral regu­lation that exists in the Netherlands. This means that entrepreneurs can submit a request for de­ferral until October 1. Entrepreneurs already granted a deferral of pay­ment must resume com­plying with their payment obligations no later than January 1, 2021.

As for their accumulat­ed debt at the tax office, entrepreneurs can repay per January 1, 2021, in 24 equal monthly terms. The temporary reduced recovery interest to zero per cent will remain in place until December 31, 2021, just as in the Neth­erlands.

The three public entities, just like municipalities in the Netherlands, are receiving financial com­pensation for the loss of income that they are suf­fering in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pan­demic. For Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba this concerns a total amount of 4.3 million euro. The Second Chamber was in­formed of the amounts in a fourth incidental sup­pletory budget Kingdom Relations on Monday.

The Dutch government is further making an ad­ditional 26,000 euro available to the public entities to compensate the local governments for the extra cost in con­nection with the Second Chamber elections in March 2021 and the Is­land Council elections in St. Eustatius in October. The additional election funding is for the extra cost to make the voting bureaus corona-proof.

The Daily Herald.

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