Employers cautiously positive about September statement


The employers’ organizations are largely positive about the recovery plan proposed by Flemish Prime Minister Jan Jambon (N-VA). However, the self-employed organization NSZ finds the plans too vague. The Voka also emphasizes the need to realize the ambitions ‘in full’.

The NSZ says it has mixed feelings after the September statement. “How will entrepreneurs be further protected in concrete terms and be guided out of this crisis, of which no one knows how long it will last?” There were no answers in that area. It can all be tackled in a more concrete way. ‘

‘The focus is only on the already healthy companies. What about the hundreds of thousands of small self-employed people who were already in difficult waters before the corona crisis? Are they left in the cold? Those companies must also be protected ‘, says Mattheeuws.

Mattheeuws is also critical about the ambitions. ‘It is to his credit that the Prime Minister is committed to digitization and that he wants to achieve an employment rate of 80 percent, but here too he remained too superficial about how he will approach this. It can all be a bit more concrete for us, ‘says Mattheeuws. ‘Because of this lack of concrete measures, valuable weeks will be lost, which means that it will be too late for many Flemish entrepreneurs.’

‘Solid basis’

The self-employed organization Unizo notes that the Flemish government has listened to the social partners. “We think it is very important that the government not only announces a lot of investments, but also that it immediately puts in place a substantial, one-off, budget of 4.3 billion euros,” it sounds.

In turn, the Voka speaks of ‘a solid basis for the recovery’. ‘We see a Flemish government that really wants to work on investments and innovation, that sets the bar high to make a difference and position Flanders as a top European region,’ says Hans Maertens, managing director. The Voka does ask for the ambitious package of measures to be implemented quickly and in a targeted manner. ‘The ambition is right, the tone has been set. Now it comes down to making this happen in full. ‘

‘On the right path’

The technology federation Agoria Vlaanderen heard how Jambon referred to digitization several times. ‘Jambon was referring to a new technological revolution, let’s tackle this together’, says Peter Demuynck, general manager of Agoria Flanders.

‘Thanks to smart policy choices, the Flemish government is on the right path, but it must now really move forward towards a digital and sustainable society and accelerate to become a European leader,’ says Demuynck. Agoria is particularly satisfied with the new plans for accessing digital data, the ambition for hydrogen and the breakthrough of 5G.

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