Many thousands of entrepreneurs received a message this week from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) that the increased subsidy percentage of the TVL for the fourth quarter of 2020 will not be paid as expected at the end of February, but ‘within sixteen weeks’ after today.
KHN points out that this postponement will mainly affect entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry who, as a result of the forced closure, saw their turnover reduced to 0 in the fourth quarter. “They are precisely dependent on the increase of the subsidy percentage from 50% to 70% of turnover. Entrepreneurs have made payment agreements with their creditors, trusting in the expectations that the State has raised. They cannot keep that up now. ”
On Thursday afternoon, an emergency meeting took place with outgoing Minister Bas van ‘t Wout and outgoing State Secretary Mona Keijzer, in which the reopening of the catering industry and summary proceedings against the State for the payment of the TVL were discussed. KHN director Dirk Beljaarts calls the emergency meeting disappointing. Keijzer said he was annoyed that the message from the RVO was not written empathically and explained that the enforcement agencies are on their toes. But catering entrepreneurs cannot do anything with that. ”
At the beginning of this week, KHN announced that it would initiate proceedings on the merits against the State in order to find out the scientific basis on which the decision was taken that the catering industry is so dangerous. “We want to know why these decisions were taken, on what grounds and who is responsible for them,” said Beljaarts.
“Keijzer explained that the implementing bodies are on their toes. But catering entrepreneurs cannot do anything with that”
The KHN director expects that the summary proceedings will help to demonstrate the unreliability of the government in the substantive proceedings. “But our goal is to get payments very quickly. A number of catering entrepreneurs will otherwise go bankrupt as a result. ”
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Economic Affairs, which includes RVO, emphasizes that it is not about the entire amount. He also does not expect that the payment will actually take sixteen weeks. According to him, RVO will bring forward the final payments. They must then follow ‘sometime in April’. “But we are trying to do it faster, and hope to pay the majority by March.”
Beljaarts notes that for entrepreneurs who have been without money for months, a four or eight week delay is also a personal drama. KHN calls the postponement ‘very threatening’ for the continuity of companies and ‘burdensome for the last bit of confidence’ that entrepreneurs still have in the government. “The ease with which – without a word of excuse – is returned to raised expectations in a communication to entrepreneurs who depend on this subsidy for their survival, evokes memories of the benefits affair.”