Outrage over Booking.com abuse of state aid for executive bonuses

Regardless of having a €4.6 billion revenue in 2019, the Dutch-owned journey company Reserving.com obtained €65 million as a part of the NOW scheme to assist companies survive in the course of the pandemic.

The €65 million state help got here with virtually no situations. Now, the Dutch parliament regrets its hasty assist.

€28 million in bonuses

Final week, Reserving.com revealed its intention to pay €28 million in shares and money bonuses to its three prime executives — after having fired hundreds of normal workers 🤨. This got here to mild in Reserving.com’s “Discover of Annual Stockholders’ Assembly” which addressed the problems mentioned at at the moment’s stockholders’ assembly.

In complete, Reserving.com has obtained €100 million in help in the course of the coronavirus pandemic from the U.S. (the place the holding firm is situated) and the Netherlands. The €65 million from the NOW scheme was meant to assist compensate workers wages however as an alternative, Reserving.com tweaked their remuneration guidelines for executives (excuse us?!).

In keeping with the NRC, Reserving.com explains that the executives’ paychecks are largely depending on the corporate’s monetary efficiency. So when earnings took successful in 2020 their incomes additionally dropped.

Reserving.com sees the brand new remuneration guidelines as essential to keep away from dropping priceless expertise. They fear that, with out bonuses, executives will depart Reserving.com for tech corporations not affected by the coronavirus disaster, studies the NRC.

Rising scandal

The choice to award bonuses to prime executives whereas the world is fighting a world pandemic has sparked anger within the Dutch parliament and among the many Dutch.

A debate within the parliament yesterday had politicians swearing over the misuse of state help, studies NU.nl. The outgoing Minister for Social Affairs, Wouter Koolmees “cursed a bit” when studying in regards to the bonuses however emphasises that, legally, there’s nothing to about it.

Nevertheless, the extra leftist events within the authorities are outraged and argue that one thing must be executed in regards to the abuse of state sources.

Bart van Kent from the SP (Socialist Occasion) needs Reserving.com to be banned from future authorities packages and has been advocating for Reserving.com to repay the cash.

“A refund now!” Bart van Kent placing up posters by Reserving.com’s workplace.

Thierry Aartsen from the VVD (Individuals’s Occasion for Freedom and Democracy) referred to as the Reserving.com executives “vultures,” whereas Gijs van Dijk from PvdA (Labour Occasion) described the brand new remuneration guidelines as “immoral”.

Gert-Jan Segers from CU (Christian Union) additionally took to Twitter after the foundations have been revealed final week. He calls Reserving.com’s actions “shameless” and quotes the Timothy verse “For the love of cash is the foundation of all evil.”

Outraged politicians take to Twitter.

Ought to the cash be paid again?

Since there have been no situations hooked up to the €65 million on the time, the Dutch authorities can’t do a lot in regards to the misuse. New situations that forbid utilizing authorities help to pay bonuses have later been added to the NOW scheme however Koolmees says the federal government shouldn’t enact guidelines retroactively, studies NL Occasions.

It’s clear from the parliamentary debate yesterday that the majority events imagine least among the €65 million must be paid again. In the meantime, Koolmees has promised to debate the dealing with of state help with Reserving.com.

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Function Picture: Franklin Heijnen/Flickr/CC2.0

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