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Dutch cabinet advisors: invest heavily and show solidarity with Europe

Burn the money, enjoy the show

22.May.20 10:18 AM
By Shawn Highstraw


Dutch cabinet advisors: invest heavily and show solidarity with Europe
Keep investing and don't hurt the economy with austerity, as happened in the previous crisis. This is what the 'Corona Crisis Think Tank' advises the cabinet. The advisory body also calls on the cabinet to collaborate much better within Europe and to demonstrate greater solidarity.

At the request of the cabinet, the think tank led by SER chairman Mariëtte Hamer today presents its first advice for the next phase, the 'restart phase' of the economy with 'intelligent recovery policy'. The think tank contains representatives of "polderend" and "advising" the Netherlands: a wide group of representatives of the planning agencies, social partners and knowledge institutes.

The think tank speaks of an "unprecedented economic crisis", which can have far-reaching consequences. Problems that were already going on in the Netherlands are emerging accelerated and intensified. Consider, for example, the position of flex workers and young people.

The open character of the Dutch economy makes the Netherlands more sensitive to economic shocks. But the Netherlands was also hit so hard in the previous crisis, because cuts were made too hard, says the think tank.

The advice to the cabinet is therefore invest, invest, invest. And is accelerating efforts on issues such as climate and aging. The think tank hopes that the investment fund that was announced with Budget Day will somehow be created.

The Think Tank believes that the Netherlands should cooperate much better within Europe. Also in the interest of our country itself. We must not become protectionist, for example when it comes to protective equipment. "It is very inefficient if every country will arrange this on its own."

In any case, the think tank believes that the Netherlands should opt much more for European cooperation and solidarity. It is also in our own interest if we help other countries, says the think tank. "Now that some Member States have been more severely affected by the virus than others, all Member States have an interest in both fighting it effectively wherever in the EU and in achieving the best socio-economic recovery from each Member State's crisis."

There are serious concerns about the far-reaching consequences of the crisis for young people. The danger of long-term youth unemployment is lurking. Young people more often have a flexible employment contract or work as a freelancer. Those who do have a permanent employment contract lose that faster because of the "last in first out principle".

"If young people make a bad start in the labour market, it will have negative consequences for the rest of their lives." The think tank therefore calls on the cabinet to take the consequences for young people into account in their policy and to subject them to a "generation test".

The think tank also warns that a second major coronavirus outbreak could be devastating to the economy and lead to an even deeper crisis. Therefore, be prepared for a new pandemic, the think tank writes, with lessons to be learned from the recent times.

In addition to safety and health care, "a strong economic base, quality of life, social and employment effects" should be taken into account in all considerations.

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