The Inner Cabinet met this morning, Friday 29 May, to define the contours of the third part of the Federal Plan for Social and Economic Protection. As a reminder, the first two parts of this Plan were activated on 6 and 20 March and involved a series of measures to support employees, the self-employed and companies in difficulties.

The aim of this third part is to continue and strengthen measures to support spending power, activity levels and employment in the coming months. The third part of the Federal Plan for Social and Economic Protection will be based on four pillars:

  1. Some of the strong cross-cutting measures that have been taken in recent months will be extended, such as temporary unemployment, bridging rights or ‘corona’ parental leave. This is also consistent with what the social partners are seeking.
  2. The Federal Government will propose new cross-cutting measures to maintain employment, spending power, social cohesion and the viability of businesses. These are prerequisites for limiting the consequences of this unprecedented crisis. For example, there is a tax incentive through a reduction in corporate withholding tax, intended to enable people who are currently temporarily unemployed to return to work. Other measures will help guarantee the solvency of companies, drive investments and help secure employment in our country.
  3. The Federal Government also wants to accommodate certain industries, such as the hospitality, culture and events industries which – by virtue of their activities – have suffered greatly from the containment measures. Well-defined sectoral measures will therefore be proposed, such as a reduction in VAT, a hospitality voucher or higher deductibility of professional expenses.
  4. The Federal Government also proposes to grant a one-off premium of 250 euros to living wage earners, people with disabilities and people entitled to an IGO/GRAPA (income guarantee for the elderly).

This third part of the Federal Plan for Social and Economic Protection will be submitted for discussion to the Inner Cabinet plus the ten parties that support the government, tomorrow, Saturday. They will also be able to submit their proposals. The ambition is to arrive at an overall approach that also takes into account proposals from the Chamber of Representatives and will find the broadest possible support in Parliament.

Following on from this, consultation with the social partners will continue on measures aimed at the organisation of work.