three woman sitting on white chair in front of table

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

three woman sitting on white chair in front of table

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Companies must be allowed to be able to compensate their staff tax-free for the higher energy bills they are facing, said Jacco Vonhof. The chair of the small- and mid-sized business lobbying group, MKB-Nederland, proposed the idea in an interview in the Telegraaf.

“We always say to the government, ‘Make sure that people have a higher net amount remaining from their gross wages. Seventy cents out of every extra euro earned goes directly into the state’s coffers. So if an employer wants to do something extra, that has no positive net impact for the employee,” said Vonhof.

“That is why I have said several times internally that we should be given the option of temporarily providing tax-free allowances for employees who are confronted with high energy bills. They are already considering this in Germany.”

The MKB-Nederland chair emphasized that entrepreneurs are not legally bound by any deals he makes, and says that this must be regulated in collective labor agreements. “But every entrepreneur who sees that their staff is getting into trouble 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 will not miss out on any income, because if we do not give such compensation, the State also won’t receive anything.”

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