The Chamber of Commerce says the limit on aid for sensitive sectors should be abolished in favour of a new scale for assessing turnover losses. (Photo: Shutterstock)
Two days ahead of the presentation of the 2021 budget bill, the Chamber of Commerce has demanded an extension of the furlough scheme beyond the end of the year.
In a statement issued on Monday evening, the Chamber of Commerce called on the government to extend the furlough scheme beyond December and optimise as well as extend measures already adopted to take care of the most affected companies’ fixed costs.
‘’The economic fabric is still too fragile, the pandemic still too present and the demand still too low to allow for a quick exit from the furlough scheme. Therefore, a degressive exit strategy, targeted and implemented at the sectoral level is the most suitable option considering the current volatile and uncertain situation,’’ the chamber argued. ‘’The objective of state aid has been, and still is, to maintain employment and prevent the destruction of economic substance, while retaining investment capacity, innovation and job creation for businesses and their ability to contribute to tax revenues and social contributions.’’
Considering the ‘’mixed’’ balance of aids, the Chamber of Commerce noted a difference of €200 million at the end of July between what was promised and the amounts actually committed. According to the institution the problem lies within ‘’unclear and too strict eligibility criteria, too complex and cumbersome procedures, too long processing times, insufficient legibility of existing aid schemes, etc. Moreover, the deferrals granted are now due and claimed by the administrations, while many companies are still in a delicate phase.’’ They therefore call on the government to simplify and accelerate the pace opf distributing the aid.
Finally, concerning specific aid for retail stores and the recovery and solidarity fund, the Chamber wants the elimination of the €10,000 limit, for an extension beyond 30 November and for an increase of the allocated amount per employee to include the fixed costs of companies, by taking into account the reality of the loss of turnover compared to the period before the crisis.
This article was originally published in French on Paperjam.lu and has been translated and edited by Delano.