Employers believe that the rise in the Minimum Interprofessional Salary (SMI) up to 965 euros approved a week ago by the Coalition Government “will directly prevent” the creation of between 60,000 and 130,000 jobs. “In an economy in full recovery from the pandemic and with the current unemployment situation, it was not the time to undertake this rise. The increase in the SMI is not bad for businessmen, but for the interests of citizens ”, the president of the Círculo de Empresarios, Manuel Pérez Sala, added this morning during the presentation of the Circle Business Survey 2021. In the same sense, Pérez Sala has also been critical of the 2% salary increase for officials known today, before which he has asked “prudence” for a sector that has added 200,000 new employees in recent times. In addition to asking that wage increases are linked to productivity and not to price developments.
For businessmen, this also occurs while the Spanish business fabric has continued to suffer from the effects of Covid-19 that they consider have not been alleviated by the mechanisms brought up by the Government. In the barometer presented today by the Círculo de Empresarios in collaboration with the Association of Journalists of Economic Information (APIE), more than half of the two hundred companies consulted think that the management of the Minimum Vital Income (64.2%), direct aid (56.7%) and benefits for the self-employed (53.8%) have been managed ineffectively or ineffectively. In general, about 80% of the firms think that the Sánchez Executive has not been able to weather the crisis of the pandemic.
Among the same firms (of all sizes and sectors) there is also discouragement due to the political instability that they believe is the main factor that threatens their competitiveness. Thus, nine out of ten respondents assure that the deterioration of institutional quality is the main obstacle to be faced by the Spanish economy. «We have a very important political noise. When it comes to doing business, being in a country where the political confrontation is extreme and with no signs of improvement and, on the other hand, the questioning by some political parties of the Spanish institutions themselves makes it difficult to invest foreign funds, “the president remarked. of the committee that coordinated the preparation of the survey, Miguel Iraburu.
Although they are also alert to the current regulatory burden (83%), and tax measures related to corporate tax and financial transactions. Regarding the latter, in full development of the creation of a minimum rate of 15% in Corporation tax by the main world economies, Pérez Sala recalled that “it is not necessary for Spain” where Spanish companies already pay 25 % on this tribute. “Taxation is high and there is no need to impose any minimum rate,” added the president of the Círculo de Empresarios.
In another order, the firms are also concerned about international events such as the Brexit (91%), protectionism (91%) and the hegemony of China in the world (86.8%).
On the other hand, the barometer also highlights the low confidence in the Spain Brand of companies, and only 7% believe that they obtain benefit from it. «There has been a loss of value of the Spain brand. Some companies tell us that, for example, in exports to Asia it is more attractive to use the Europe brand than the Spain brand, ”explained Iraburu.
Transparency in the distribution of European funds
An economy that, in its recovery, will largely depend on how the 70,000 million of European funds that will reach Spain in the coming years are managed. Regarding its execution, 95.9% of the companies surveyed consider that the participation of the private sector in the selection and management of the projects to which European funds will be allocated is very necessary, while 65.7% consider Much needed involvement of an independent advisory committee to help manage the manna that has already started pouring in from Brussels. Along these lines, Iraburu has called for “an effort of transparency” in money management, especially in the face of SMEs, where the degree of misinformation about access to funds is of concern.
Regardless of the execution of the funds, companies are optimistic for the entry of 2022 and three out of four trust that the Spanish economy will recover pre-Covid levels between the second half of 2022 and the first half of 2023. In order to achieve this, a series of reforms in Education (60.7% claim an educational State Pact) and Public Administrations (AAPP) (53.6%) are considered a priority; in addition to increasing efforts in innovation and technology (50.3%) and improving the functioning of the labor market (47.5%).