That is what Alex Tess Rutten, chairman of the National Student Union (LSVb), says. Yesterday, the cabinet announced extensive support measures to keep the economy afloat. If companies lose more than 20 percent of their turnover, they can be reimbursed up to 90 percent of the wage costs.
That also helps students. The allowance is for permanent employees as well as for employees with a flexible contract "as long as they remain employed during the application period", writes the Cabinet. Temporary employment agencies can also apply for temporary workers.
More than half of the students have a part-time job, according to the student monitor. In 2017, they earned an average of 600 euros per month.
‘Students have to get through the first months’
In the meantime, the LSVb hopes that universities will not struggle over tuition fees: some students may run into acute problems if they have to pay it now. Also, student housing providers should be accommodating if students get into trouble with the rent.
The universities will talk to the Ministry of Education again tomorrow. Then the possible problems with tuition fees will also be discussed. The student housing providers will meet this afternoon to discuss the situation, but for the time being they are holding off the boat. "There may be all kinds of reasons why people don't pay the rent," reacts director Paul Tholenaars of Kences, the umbrella association of student housing companies. "In principle, the rent is not income-dependent."
"Students have to get through the first months," says Rutten of the LSVb. "If the Tax and Customs Administration can wait a while, then educational institutions and social housing associations should be able to do the same. Just look at Italy."
HOP, Bas Belleman