The increase in the Minimum Interprofessional Salary (SMI) will be the first legislative initiative that the Ministry of Labor takes to the Council of Ministers and one of the first major measures of the year for the Government coalition, according to sources from that department. The increase in the SMI for 2022 is one of the initiatives that appears in the Annual Regulatory Plan that the Council of Ministers approved this Tuesday and that was pending at the end of last year, when the coalition did not want to open that melon in full negotiations of the labor reform and after having raised it in September without the agreement of the employer.
The Government closes the year with half of the laws envisaged and speeds up recovery measures
The rise in the SMI - now at 965 euros per month - will be one of the first measures of the Government, which is going to set its level for the year 2022 after meeting with the social agents. This meeting is not set yet, but it is expected to be announced shortly. The Ministry of Labor has said so far that the minimum wage would be increased from January, so it remains to be seen if it is approved retroactively from January 1.
But, in addition, the minimum wage is also thought as one of the last measures to be approved by the Executive in this exercise, since the Ministry of Labor has included the forecast to approve the minimum wage for next year, 2023. the approval of the SMI at the end of the year, in the last days of December, as usual, contrary to what has happened in the last two years marked by the pandemic. The increase in 2023 is especially relevant, since that year the amount of 60% of the average salary would have to be reached to comply with the coalition agreement. This adheres to the recommendation of the European Social Charter for this minimum legal remuneration.
The Annual Policy Plan contains a total of 368 policy initiatives that the coalition intends to carry out throughout the year. Many of them were already part of the document planned for 2021 and of which less than half was fulfilled. Of these regulations, 92 will be laws - eleven of them organic - and the rest royal decrees, which do not require parliamentary approval. The Minister of the Presidency and Relations with the Courts, Félix Bolaños, who is in charge of presenting the annual "roadmap", explained that 40% of the initiatives are related to the Recovery and Resilience Plan with which the Government aims to have 140,000 million euros in loans and transfers in the coming years.
Bolaños pointed out that most of the initiatives are articulated around the axes of this plan, which is in line with the priorities of Brussels. Thus, he explained that in the pillar of digital transformation they have in their portfolio laws such as Science, "which will guarantee an attractive research career", the industry law to update the 1992 law that has been "overcome by circumstances" , a law to guarantee 5G or a statute of start ups for students. In the case of the ecological transition, he has cited a law to establish the norms for the management of the CAP, a sustainable fishing law or a law for the modernization of nuclear energy.
In the sections of social and territorial cohesion, he has mentioned the housing law to "promote rents at reasonable prices", which is pending the reports of bodies such as the Judiciary before being referred to Congress, the elimination of copayments or the law of social services so that the "portfolio is the same" throughout the country. "We are going to pass a law against racism and other forms of intolerance," said the minister, who has also referred to a law that affects small municipalities so that the population has the "same services" regardless of where they live.
In the section on gender equality, he has referred to the legal modification to incorporate aspects of the State Pact to combat sexist violence, changes in the abortion law, or a law against trafficking with which the Government intends, according to Bolaños explained, "abolish prostitution." This idea, however, will not have its own law, which was the compromise reached by the PSOE in its 39th Congress and which raised problems within the coalition and also with its parliamentary allies. The forecast is for the Council of Ministers to definitively approve the trans law for submission to Parliament, which was delayed due to the discrepancies between Carmen Calvo and Irene Montero and which finally contemplates gender self-determination. Another of the rules that Bolaños has enunciated is that of co-responsible work, to facilitate conciliation, which will be addressed to also transpose a European directive.
Bolaños explained that the government's priority in this regulatory plan is the "consolidation of economic growth" and also advance in rights and freedoms. For this reason, the regeneration block has included a regulation of relations with stakeholders through a modification of the transparency law. However, it is not in the Government's plans to address changes in these regulations that affect the Royal House in the line of the "roadmap" of which Pedro Sánchez spoke a year ago and of which no progress is known.
Another of the cool issues that has remained, again, outside the Government's plan is the reform of the Penal Code. The coalition's commitment was to include changes in the criminal law to modify the penalties for crimes of sedition, but it has been frozen in the middle of the legislature. The reform of the Penal Code does not appear in the Annual Regulatory Plan, as recognized by Bolaños. Nor is it one of the Government's priorities to make criminal modifications for speech offenses that announced in February of last year in full controversy over the imprisonment of rapper Pablo Hasel. Despite having assured that it was a plan of the Ministry of Justice, Moncloa does not intend that it see the light, at least from the Government, but in Congress there is a bill presented at the request of United We Can, which for now is also paralyzed .