The Spanish Prime minister, Pedro Sanchez has presented a €200 billion package as support to individuals highly affected by the coronavirus lockdown. These include; the self-employed, employers and lay off workers.
Sanchez claims that this measure which approximates to “20%” of Spain’s GDP- is the “highest” public fund mobilization in the countries recent history.
Speaking in the press conference of yesterday, the prime minister said it was just ‘passing crisis’ and Spain ‘will overcome’ as he presented his 45-page decree with the centre message being to leave “no one behind”.
“We are doing all we can to help the most vulnerable families,” he stated.
“We must protect our employees, our companies, and our families, with a shield that can only be forged by public authorities. There will come hard times, but united we can resist the pandemic.” Sanchez declared.
Nonetheless, the freezing of the mortgage pays for affected personnel and the singular benefit for the self-employed and laid-off workers strictly affect by the coronavirus lockdown, characterized the whole essence of his announcement.
The prime minister also advised employers against “fires” as he reassured them that no one will be left out of the country’s largest mobilization of public funds in recent history.
For the autonomous with extreme losses, Sanchez declared that they shall be exempted from paying social security contributions in addition to accessing a special benefit.
Such benefits are opened only to the self-employed who can provide evidence of a 75% loss in earnings over the previous month compared with the last 180 days. The benefits shall run for a month with the likelihood to extend provided things do not “bounce back” soonest.
Again, other benefits for the autonomous holds that those with salaried workers can lay off their workers with no compensatory packages since the workers are, as well, opened to unemployment benefits.
This is allowed because the COVID-19 crisis is considered under a “Fuerza mayor” status quo that allows the dodging of some rules and regulations.
Accordingly, companies will need not pay social contributions for their laid-off workers for as long as the ERTE remains in effect but shall resume as soon as the state of alarm is over, as workers resume work.
“This measure will alleviate the financial burdens of companies and help them recover employment as soon as possible,” Sanchez elucidated.
The government via Sanchez also urges workers to reduce work hours to carter for families especially the elderlies within, but shall however be entitled to receive pay only for completed hours.
The prime minister stated that out of €200 billion, €100 billion will be reserved for “at-risk businesses”, €30billion for scientific research while €17 billion is to provide aid to groups most likely to perish from the impacts of the epidemic.
These measures emerged following the last Saturday’s coronavirus lockdown which saw at least one hundred thousand employers off work, with tourism and hospital being the worst-hit sectors.