Deputy Prime Minister Denitsa Sacheva explained during a television interview that experts from the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, together with representatives of the OP "Human Resources Development" are developing new measures and relief strategies for all businesses, not just restaurants. Within the next 2 to 3 weeks, a new measure will be proposed, which will allow employees in closed businesses to be paid twice the minimum unemployment benefit per day - ie. BGN 24 per day for each working day in which the business had to be forcibly closed. The measure is currently being developed and consulted with the EC. It is to be further disscused with the social partners. Denitsa Sacheva also said that the state will continue to invest in healthcare, and is already thinking about supporting doctors from pre-hospital care and P.MDs. Will the employers benefit and are the measures on the part of the state sufficient in these conditions of the corona crisis - we asked Ivan Velkov, a Member of the Board of the Bulgarian Industrial Association:
"No, not at all. At the very beginning of the dialogue- when the design of the measures were still on a theoretical level, the Bulgarian Industrial Association stated the necessary measures and compensations, that have to be considered and undertaken for the most affected. This model is currently applied by some restaurateurs, in order for them to pay part of the remuneration directly to their staff without going through the relevant social and other payment procedures; however, this model would be far more efficient, because this aid necessity was applied at the very beginning, when there was some ambiguity about what will happen ... Now that it is clear what the consequences are and will be in the future and how entire sectors and industries will develop, there have to significant changes in the way our systems functions. "- Ivan Velkov, member of the Board of the Bulgarian Industrial Association, explained.
What do the unions think? We looked for Vanya Grigorova, the economic advisor of the Podkrepa Labor Confederation - what is the nature of the newly prepared measure?
"This means a reduction in the costs of the 60/40 measure. This is in fact a modified 60/40 measure, which will no longer be based on insurance income, ie 60% of it, but will be based on the payment of benefits. However, if the measure is formulated to cover the majority of Bulgarian workers, this is a plus side ... Every entrepreneur has the right to make their own business model and to. Sure, for some it will be more profitable to close entirely and it is better to do so. I think that the support for the restaurants was considerable. BGN 290 in addition to 60/40, and so they had the opportunity and still have it to hire unemployed people and the state to cover their minimum wage and social security contributions.These are incredible gifts to the restaurant business, and I also remind you that VAT was reduced, which means that they gained additional profits. "- the economist Vanya Grigorova, commented.
Residents of Vidin expressed differing opinions on the measures undertaken by the state to support employees in closed businesses. Some of them were even adamant that the state was not obliged to help.
"Businesses have enough money and don't need aid, in contrast to the middle and poor classes of the state. Businesses have enough money, why would they want money from the state? ... I came back from the States a month and a half ago, what can I tell you? Trump just takes care of his people. There are no hungry people in the states. ... I have a special opinion about how Bulgarian in general think. By helping everyone, we actually help no one. "- commented the people in Vidin.
What do entrepreneurs say about state aid? Vartan Papikyan is the owner of a restaurant in Vidin and is extremely disappointed with the introduction of anti-epidemic measures:
"We could not take advantage of the offered help, as well as a large part of the business in the country couldn’t. Because in order to take advantage of 60/40 you have to work. Since you are limited to work, how are you supposed to pay those 40% salaries and insurance? They say that it works, but the conditions are such that it‘s better for it to not work. "- Vartan Papikyan commented.