The state of Vaud joins forces with QoQa
The post-coronavirus recovery plan “WelQome”, born from the alliance between the canton and the online sales company QoQa, sparked discussion and criticism before being widely accepted.
The Grand Council of Vaud agreed on Tuesday to invest 15 million francs in
Launched last Tuesday, the WelQome platform allows customers who buy a service to benefit, thanks to State aid, from a 20% discount. The provider will receive a 10% capital gain. The objective: to stimulate consumption and recovery for the benefit of local players in the tourism, viticulture, catering, hotel and leisure sectors, said Philippe Leuba, Minister in charge of the economy.
The deputies had wind of the operation by a press release disseminated during their meeting last Tuesday. More than one was outraged by this lack of respect for procedures. “The government puts us before the fait accompli. We are treating the democratic process over the top, ”regretted Jérôme Christen of the PDC Vaud libre group.
Philippe Leuba thus had to face a fire of questions. He flatly apologized for upsetting the procedure, arguing that the situation was urgent. “It is the interest of thousands of traders who are waiting to know if they will be able to survive this crisis,” he said.
And to underline that after six days, the success is there: 15% of the support fund is already redistributed. Other cantons find it fantastic, he said.
The operation also received rave support from socialist Stéphane Montangero. “It is a great, solid economic recovery action that deserves to be supported, as we emerge from a major economic crisis.”
“The Council of State had an excellent idea, brilliant, because of the valuation of local actors,” added UDC deputy Philippe Jobin, even if he was offended the previous week. The process has started, we can no longer oppose it, he also noted.
The downsides particularly concerned the protection of data held by Qoqa. On the left, in particular, we were worried about their storage at Amazon Europe.
In addition, the partners of the operation must certify in a charter that they take into account the climate, the environment and that they encourage soft mobility and public transport. “How will the implementation be verified?” Worried the Green Pierre Zwahlen and the SVP Yves Cuérel.
“The charter is a declaration on honor, There is no plan for a battalion of controllers,” replied the minister.
To pretend that only Qoqa can carry out this action is to ignore all the collaborators of the digital department and the information services of the State of Vaud (DNSI), deplored Vincent Keller (Together on the left -POP).
Qoqa is the only platform to be operational in such a short time. The DGNSI, even the EPFL could not have been ready before six months, which is much too late, replied the State Councilor.
The PLR Seguei Aschwanden deplored that the measure does not help the hotel industry, which is in great need. A reaction understood by the minister.
The latter clarified that Qoqa did not receive a cantonal aid franc. Of the 400,000 francs that the company will receive, 160,000 are used to pay part of the adaptation of the IT system, the rest being financed by Qoqa. The remaining 240,000 francs will be used to pay the staff hired by Qoqa to help Vaud SMEs to launch their actions on the internet.
Help for tenants close
On voting, the decree was widely adopted by 104 votes in favor and five against. Eighteen members abstained as a sign of bad humor.
The amount of 15 million francs is taken from the capital of the cantonal fund to fight unemployment. It became available following the closure of the assistance measures for tenants and lessors. Only two million were used out of the 20 provided for this purpose.