Govt extends most measures to help businesses until end of March

Ljubljana – The government has extended by another three months most measures aimed at helping businesses, farmers and employees bridge the crisis. The measures that would have expired at the end of the year will thus be in place until the end of March.

The proposal for the extension of measures from the fifth and sixth stimulus packages had come from the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, which proposed a six-month extension given that the epidemic is not over yet and that certain activities and services are still banned.

One of the measures that are being extended is the monthly basic income in the amount of EUR 1,100 for the self-employed who cannot work because of the epidemic. The measure was introduced with the fifth stimulus package.

Sole proprietors and freelancers will continue to be eligible for the income if they have been working at least since 1 September and if their revenue in 2020 is 20% lower than last year.

A similar aid will also go to farmers and sole shareholders, while religious workers are to get a basic income of EUR 700, plus their social security contributions covered by the state when the seventh package is passed next week.

Those whose business is affected because of quarantine or child care will also get partial compensation; EUR 250-750 a month if they do no receive the basic income.

Subsidies for workers in quarantine or in case of force majeure will also remain in place.

The government also extended at yesterday’s session the measure of partial covering of fixed monthly costs to companies, self-employed with at least one employee and shareholders whose revenue dropped by at least 30% in the final quarter year-on-year.

The ministry assessed a six-month extension of the measures would cost the state EUR 1.2 billion, so a three-month extension is probably worth about half as much.

Last week, the subsidised reduced working hours scheme that was introduced in June was extended until June 2021. The furlough scheme will meanwhile expire at the end of January 2021.