While new fiscal measures are a welcome gift for companies hit hard by the new coronavirus, the Federation of Belgian Enterprises stressed the need for a government on Friday.
The federation expressed regret that “a full-fledged government able to implement a well thought out and widely supported recovery plan” was not yet in place.
Measures announced by the caretaker government – extending the tax shelter for SMEs, suspending the December 2020 VAT deposit, and increasing the tax deduction for investment to 25% – “will help businesses maintain their capital levels and stimulate investment.”
However, it expressed surprise that “the temporary nature” of some measures had been lifted, such as one regarding retirement which, it said, “forces people aged 55 years and over out of the job market.”
It also decried “the lack of attention given to businesses wishing to recuperate, in the short term, losses linked to the lockdown months,” arguing that “the temporary system of voluntary overtime hours for all businesses would have helped them” to do so.
The FEB said 7 to 10% of businesses were expected to face bankruptcy.
“A full-fledged government with an ambitious recovery plan is thus more necessary than ever, as early as today,” FEB head Pieter Timmermans stressed.
The Brussels Times