Trade unions say, “the majority of measures are positive for the self-employed and SMEs”
    Share article:

    Trade unions say, “the majority of measures are positive for the self-employed and SMEs”

    © Belga
    The SNI is concerned that the reduction of the tax-free exemption for savings accounts will affect many self-employed people when they become pensioners.
    © Belga

    The majority of socio-economic reforms undertaken by the Michel government “are positive for the self-employed and SMEs.” This was the reaction on Wednesday by the self-employed trade union (known as the “SNI”). The latter welcomes, in particular, the decrease in corporation tax, broadening the scope of flexi-jobs and the reform of trial periods.

    The agreement concluded by the government last night ensures that the tax rate for SMEs will go from 25% to 20% on the first slice of profits up to €100,000. The SNI flags up, “The current high level of corporation tax is putting a brake upon investments…This will give SMEs in our country a little more breathing space.” Offsetting this tax reduction by a maximum tax of 7.5% for multi-nationals is also “fair and just.”

    The trade union also welcomes the stimulus package for share purchases. “It is no longer necessary to pay 30% withholding tax on the first slice of €627 of profits. The enormous contingent of savings accounts in our country should thus be used more often to purchase shares and therefore invest in companies.”

    Concerning flexi-jobs (for which there has currently been a zero benefit to business as a whole), the trade union has “demanded for a long time”  their widening from simply the hotel, restaurant and catering industry to small businesses as well. This decision should enable retail traders to find staff more easily.

    The reform of the trial period is also arousing the enthusiasm of the SNI, which is pleased that the notice for a member of staff who has just been taken on is reduced to one week in place of two. The latter period had applied up until now.

    The reduction of salary costs in the construction sector is moreover “another strong signal”, as is the reimbursement of a given number of consultations with a psychologist. The SNI says, “In view of the increase in the number of burnout and depression cases, it is a benefit that therapy sessions will be partially reimbursed from next year.”

    The organisation however finds that there are some more negative aspects, such as the tax on share accounts of €500,000 or more. The trade union adds, “It makes even less sense to have reduced the exemption for savings accounts. Currently, a saver who earns €1,880 interest in a year, should not have any tax deducted at source. Soon this exemption will only apply to no more than €940 of interest. In this way, the self-employed, with only a small pension and who have saved during their career will be penalised.”

    Lastly, the introduction of mystery calls “makes no sense” and will in particular generate additional cost and time burdens for businesses.

    Lars Andersen
    The Brussels Times