The Foundation for Applied Economics Studies (Fedea) describes as “worrying” the recent agreement reached between the partners of the Government coalition on the future housing law, since it considers that measures are included that “will tend to aggravate existing problems shortage of rental housing, discouraging private investment in the sector.
This is what Fedea warns in its new newsletter to monitor the Covid crisis in which it also raises “serious doubts” about the reforms that they want to carry out in terms of the labor market and pensions. Specifically, it points out that “considerable uncertainty” remains about some of the most sensitive issues in labor matters, such as the simplification of contracting modalities and the regulation of collective bargaining and subcontracting, which should be specified in this last quarter 2021, in accordance with the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan.
Regarding pensions, Fedea believes that what has been done so far does not precisely contribute to the sustainability of the system, which in principle should be the first priority in this field, or to improve its intergenerational equity.
In his opinion, the sustainability of the system seems to rely on measures, such as the new intergenerational equity factor, the rise in the maximum contribution bases or a change in the period for calculating the initial pension, which would be agreed at the end of 2022 and that have not been specified in the Recovery Plan.
Better evaluation deserve the reforms foreseen in bankruptcy matters and the evaluation of public policies. Fedea points out that the preliminary draft of the evaluation law, which foresees the creation of a new AIReF evaluation division, seems to be pointing generally in the right direction, although the project could benefit from greater ambition, especially with regard to the degree of independence of the new evaluation body and the complementary measures necessary to facilitate its task.
In bankruptcy matters, an “ambitious preliminary draft” has also been published that is committed to strengthening pre-bankruptcy proceedings, giving the parties greater decision-making power, to the detriment of the judge, who loses prominence and acquires an arbitration role.
However, it considers that the main deficiency of this draft is that an opportunity has been lost to review the treatment of public credits, which maintain their anachronistic procedural and substantive privileges, with very limited exceptions in the case of the special procedure for micro-enterprises.
In terms of investments, Fedea points out that the expenditure executed at the end of August was still “modest” and corresponds almost exclusively to items that have already been transferred by the State to the autonomous communities or public bodies in charge of executing them.
So far, projects and programs have begun to be launched for a total amount of about 12,000 million euros, which represents around one sixth of the total expenditure to be committed in the three years that the Recovery Plan allows these effects.
For its part, payments for a total amount of about 4,400 million euros have been made out of these funds, which, as has already been said, correspond mainly to block transfers to other administrations in charge of the final execution of the projects.