Belgian recession grant has not been a success

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The Sunday newspaper De Zondag has reported that very few self-employed people have applied for a special monthly payment to help them through the recession.

The so-called "recession grant" was launched by the government on the 1 July. However, only a few hundred self-employed people have applied to receive the payment.

The grant is the same amount as the pre-existing payment for self-employed people whose businesses have folded. 

A single person is entitled to EUR 920 a month, while a couple receives a monthly payment of EUR 1,320. The grant is paid out for a period of six months. 

In the six weeks after the recession grant was launched, Belgium’s biggest social insurance fund Acerta have received just sixty applications. 

However, the fund's Kurt Vertenen told the paper that Acerta staff are now receiving more enquiries about the grant. 

Michael Dreesen of the social insurance company SVMB said that he expected the number of applications for the recession grant to rise after the summer holidays.

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