Small businesses want workers to get tax-free compensation for higher energy bills

Companies must have the option of being able to compensate their staff tax-free for the higher energy bills they face, said Jacco Vonhof. The chairman of small and medium-sized business lobby group MKB-Nederland proposed the idea in an interview with Telegraaf.

“We always say to the government, ‘Make sure people have a higher net amount left over on their gross salary. Seventy cents of every extra euro earned goes straight into the state coffers. So if a employer wants to do something more, it has no positive net impact for the employee,” Vonhof said.

“This is why I have said several times internally that we should be given the possibility of temporarily granting tax-free allowances to employees faced with high energy bills. They are already thinking about it in Germany.”

The president of MKB-Nederland pointed out that contractors are not legally bound by the agreements they make and said that this should be regulated in collective labor agreements. “But every entrepreneur who sees their staff having problems wants to find a solution. That’s why we want the space to make such a tax-free payment for one or two years. The government won’t miss out on any revenue, because if we don’t don’t give such compensation, the state won’t get anything either.”

Vonhof said all parties, including Cabinet, employers and unions, are willing to negotiate such deals, and he expects talks to continue after the holidays. “We will see in August whether it will work. We have a tradition in the Netherlands of coming together in times of deep misery. If it can happen in Germany, it should also be possible in our ‘polder country’.”

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