Coalition approved measures totaling €1bn a month
The coalition called on companies to avoid layoffs and adopted seven measures to support jobs: the state will reimburse 80% of wages to companies that were ordered to close due to the pandemic; it will provide €180-540 a month to sole traders and SMEs for every employee, based on their drop in sales (20-80%; a company can get €0.2m monthly at the most); bank guarantees totaling €500m a month; quarantined workers and those taking care of kids will get 55% of their gross wage; companies with over a 40% drop in sales will have their payroll levies and income tax advances deferred; and companies will be able to deduct their tax losses since 2014.
The government expects costs of €1bn a month in direct payments, plus the €500m bank guarantees, as it expects to cover wages of half of private sector’s employees. Affidavits will be used to declare a drop in sales. The government is also in talks with banks on deferring mortgage payments; no agreement has been reached yet. It plans to approve special measures for large companies.
Ex-Finance Minister Ivan Mikloš points out that time is of the essence. The government-approved measures are targeted, companies’ requests for assistance will be reviewed by the labor office ÚPSVR and companies won’t receive any money before April 15. ÚPSVR lacks the capacity to deal with tens of thousands of applications.