Support for independents of an additional 285 million was announced in particular.
The Walloon government announced on Wednesday new measures to combat the consequences of the coronavirus. Walloon President Elio Di Rupo began by highlighting the work of healthcare staff, both in hospitals and in nursing homes. The new measures will be effective this Thursday. Here is what was announced:
Support for the self-employed and small businesses
After a first aid plan for the self-employed and small businesses, the Walloon government is proposing new complementary measures. The government has agreed on an extension of its compensation of 5,000 euros to new sectors affected by the coronavirus crisis, including garages, performance halls, sports and leisure halls, equestrian centers or even halls movies. To this end, an additional 285 million have been added to the initial envelope of 233 million, for a total amount of 518 million euros, announced the regional executive.
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At the same time, a lump sum compensation of 2,500 euros will also be granted to those who saw their activity interrupted substantially in March and April and who benefited from the bridge right. Finally, a “ricochet” loan of a maximum amount of 45,000 euros “at a very favorable rate” will be available to the self-employed and to SMEs that need cash to relaunch their activities. The banks will assume 2/3 of this loan; Sowalfin the remaining third, the latter also guaranteeing 75% of the reimbursement.
25 million will be released for research projects in the fight against the pandemic.
We talk a lot about purchasing power. More and more people find themselves in urgent food aid, according to the Walloon government. The government has therefore put a million euros on the table to buy food and for the structures that provide it to people in difficulty. PFI plans are also affected, with an additional 70% of the premium.
Nursing homes are also impacted with important measures in terms of hygiene and medication. The Walloon government will add aid of 400 euros (in addition to the 250 euros already provided) per approved bed.
Gas, electricity and water
Energy is one of the basic needs, according to the government. The cuts have already been prohibited. For those with a budget meter who have been unable to prepay their bills, financial assistance will be provided. These households will receive this aid directly as a deduction from their regularization bill.
With regard to water, measures have been taken for the vulnerable. Any suspension of water is prohibited. The assistance of the CPAS is increased. For people experiencing temporary unemployment, there will be a flat rate reduction of 40 euros. Measures for companies are also planned.
The CPAS will receive an additional envelope of 5 million euros. Support for tenants with a 0-rate loan via the social credit company is set up for people who have difficulty paying their rents. Students who find it difficult to pay their accommodation will be able to request an early lease termination. For those unable to move, the government has authorized the extension of the lease.
This is an unprecedented and unpublished exercise and is subject to change, according to the Minister of Budget. Today there are 600 million less revenue. There was a first expenditure train and the second expenditure train is 900 million euros (including tracing file). On everything related to the coronvarirus and the recovery, an agreement will be needed on the volume of the authorized deficit, explained Jean-Luc Crucke. Then internal efforts will be put in place: a transfer of budgets and a limitation of spending to 80% of budgets (excluding covid spending). The Walloon government will also use conventional aid and external aid proposed by the Council and the European Commission.