Following the lukewarm reception this week of the lower house to the stability programme designed to help companies weather coronavirus storm, the minister of the economy Franz Fayot, has announced additional measures to support startups, artists and the self-employed.
The minister for culture, Sam Tanson, said that the measures would do more to help those who worked in the arts, whose jobs had been heavily impacted by confinement protocols. The 2014 law on independent artists and part-time workers has been reworked on light of the current socio-economic climate. “People in the arts are often the first to suffer, because they depend on paying audiences coming through the door, which clearly is not happening at the moment. These are very fragile professions.”
The new measures seek to double the allowance artists can draw down in periods of difficulty, so that they can maintain a living wage during the current emergency.
The minister would also like to see a ‘broadcast royalty’ of 15% paid to artists from or with links to Luxembourg set up as well as the establishment of an emergency national cultural fund encompassing several cultural bodies in the country, such as the Fondation de Luxembourg.
Building a better tomorrow
“The coronavirus crisis is a major problem for each and every one of our citizens, it is having a fundamental impact on private and professional lives,” stated deputy André Bauler, “but crises offer society a chance to build a better, more just future, to change mindsets and create new opportunities. We can take the current adversity and create a better society for our people, by creating new ways of working through digitalization and allowing workers to spend more quality time with their families.”
Many in Luxembourg are comparing the government’s stability programme to Roosevelt’s New Deal, which was designed to get America back on its feet after the great depression of the 1930s.
Startups get a leg up
The government has enacted legistlation to ensure that the country’s innovation sector do not wither and die during the emergency. Startups will now be able to access up to €800,000 in government aid to cover up to 70% of their short-term financing needs.
Several deputies have criticized the stance taken by the main landlord’s union, for their hard-line stance on commercial and residential property rents. While individual commercial property owners have agreed to defer or cancel rents in light of coronavirus, many deputies have called on the housing minister, Henri Kox, to ensure that those businesses that still have to pay their rent receive government assistance to do so as well as private individuals who have been furloughed by their employers.
Edited by Aude Ghespière