Sunday, January 16

NHO about the changes in cash support: – Completely unreasonable

NHO Reiseliv calls the government’s proposed changes to the compensation scheme “completely unreasonable”. LO supports the government’s changes, and wants even more restrictions.

Kristin Krohn Devold, CEO of NHO Reiseliv, calls the government’s changes in the compensation scheme “completely unreasonable”.

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The employers’ organizations NHO, Virke and SMB Norge criticize the government’s proposed changes in the cash subsidy to the business community.

The organizations have provided consultation input to the government’s changes in the national compensation scheme.

The government reintroduced the national compensation scheme for business and industry in December, after new infection control measures were introduced before Christmas. The government introduced stricter requirements for companies that receive support, following E24’s revelations that many companies that received support went with high profits and paid dividends.

Companies that receive support may not take dividends in 2022 and 2023 until they have repaid the support, and companies that make a profit will have to repay the support they have received after November 2021.

We at E24 depend on tips from our readers. Contact E24’s journalists by e-mail to [email protected], or by encrypted message via Signal or WhatsApp to +4799240017.

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NHO: – Completely unreasonable

In the consultation responses the government has received, several of Norway’s largest employers’ organizations are very critical of the changes that are being proposed.

NHO, Norway’s largest employers’ organization, is critical of the new restrictions the government is introducing in the scheme.

– It is unacceptable that the state shuts down an entire industry in the period that constitutes this year’s most important earnings months for many companies, without compensating for the shutdown, writes Kristin Krohn Devold, CEO of NHO Reiseliv in her consultation response to the government.

They believe that the government’s changes mean that only companies that do poorly receive compensation.

– Those who succeeded in adjusting, saving on costs and working hard to make a small profit before the year was over, do not receive compensation. It is completely unreasonable, writes Devold.

Regnskap Norge, SMB Norge and Hovedorganisasjonen Virke are also critical of the changes.

The employers’ association Spekter supports the proposal for restrictions on dividends, but questions whether it should last until the end of 2023.

– As the ministry itself describes in its consultation letter, there is a big difference between companies that have saved up equity, and companies that regularly distribute profits as far as possible. Both of these will be subject to a dividend limitation with the same effect, even though the first company may have chosen to leave funds in the company, for example, pending future investments, Spekter writes.

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The companies on the tax list top received millions in cash support

LO wants more restrictions

On the other hand, we find the workers’ organization LO, which supports the changes the government will introduce, and will have even more restrictions.

– LO is satisfied with the new terms and requirements for refunds. LO still requests that similar terms be introduced in executive salaries, bonuses and board fees, they write in their consultation response.

LO’s Roger Bjørnstad wants the government to demand that companies can not increase executive salaries, bonuses and board fees when they have received cash support.

– LO does not want support schemes to lead to the right dividends, increased executive salaries or open for channeling of profits to low-tax countries and tax havens. This will weaken our members’ support for the schemes.

The organization says that the cash support scheme should also be limited to companies in industries that are directly or indirectly affected by infection control measures. They cite number restrictions, table placement requirements and bar restrictions as examples.

– The fall in turnover in the company must to a significant extent be due to the mentioned statutory restrictions.

Today, the requirement for whether a company can receive support or not is linked to whether they have had a sharp drop in turnover or not.

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Invented twelve employees to receive corona support

Changed the scheme after criticism

The criticism of the previous scheme, which had no restrictions related to dividends and profits, has, among other things, been triggered by E24’s survey of how things went with the companies that received cash support in 2020. The survey has shown that:

  • Half of the companies that received support had a better annual result in 2020 than in 2019.
  • More than half of the companies that received support in 2020 were able to repay the entire amount of support and still avoid losses.
  • In total, more than two billion kroner could have been repaid, without the companies that received support ending up in the red.
  • E24’s survey has also shown that at least NOK 722 million has been sent in dividends to foreign owners, from companies that received support from the Norwegian state to get through the pandemic.

Reference-www.aftenposten.no

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