A large majority of self-employed disapprove of the Government’s economic management to protect this group in the midst of a crisis that has led to the paralysis or notable reduction of the activity of many businesses in Spain. From a survey carried out by the National Federation of Self-Employed (ATA) to a total of 1,887 self-employed workers, it is extracted that a very high percentage of these –80.26% – they suspended with a note of 2.67 out of 10 the measures put in place by Pedro Sánchez’s cabinet. In addition, only 5.8% of the self-employed value this battery of grants with a score higher than 7% and only 9.74% approve of the Executive’s action in this matter.
Asked about the effectiveness of each specific measure to alleviate the economic disaster caused by the coronavirus pandemic, none of them received an approval from this group. Despite the cate, the extraordinary regulation for carrying out ERTEs due to force majeure has been the best rated by the respondents, since it obtains a 2.23 out of 5. In this order of evaluation, the rule on the cessation of activity (2.23 out of 5) and the possibility of availing of a moratorium on the mortgage, with a 2.03. Conversely, those that have to do with the compatibility of benefits with pensions of widowhood, orphanhood and disability, as well as the moratorium on Social Security contribution quotas, obtain an average rating of 1.86 on average.
From ATA insist that the coronavirus pandemic “is affecting our country very hard” and especially 3.2 million Spanish self-employed that “they see how their businesses are going through a critical situation that was not expected a few months ago.” For this reason, in ATA they have also asked for aid that has not been implemented and that they have been claiming for weeks with the aim of “knowing the importance of the same for the group” and “thus claiming them with more force”. From the answers, it can be deduced that contrary to what happens with the measures implemented so far, those considered by ATA “have a very good evaluation” with an average mark above 4 on a scale of 5, as says the note of the association. Thus, the suppression of the contribution quota for the months of April and May is the proposal rated as the most important and necessary and that all the self-employed respondents from ATA request the most, to which they grant a 4.55 out of 5. Another of the best valued and considered the most necessary are direct aid to the most affected sectors, the generalization of the responsible declaration to avoid paperwork and the postponement of tax payments.
Half don’t work now
Surveyed about their current and real situation after the declaration of the state of alarm in Spain, the activities of the self-employed surveyed from ATA are divided into the three possible cases. Specifically, 37.4% of the self-employed fit their activity into those considered non-essential. 31.1% affirm that their business is closed due to force majeure and 27.5% affirm that their activity is within those considered essential.
Thus, 73.9% are currently in a situation of confinement within their home and of this percentage, 50.4% affirm that they are absolutely not working at all; 12.6% reported teleworking with technological limitations; and 10.9% indicate that they can telework without problems. On the other hand, one in five freelancers – 20.6% – says they go out to work, but to a much lesser extent than usual.
In addition, 40.2% of the self-employed respondents indicate that their business activity has decreased by 100%, a percentage linked to that 50.4% of the self-employed who in the previous question claimed to be at home and not working. On the other hand, one in four freelancers – 27.5% – affirms that their business has been reduced by 50% and 10.6% figures this decrease by 75%. Only 3.7% of the self-employed respondents indicate that their activity has not decreased and 2.6% indicate that their workload has increased in this period of confinement.
Despite this situation, the loss of Social Security has only been processed by 4.2% of the self-employed, compared to practically nine out of ten – 89.7% – who, despite everything, continue to contribute for their exercise.