The Government will approve today a battery of measures to try to avoid layoffs and company closings by the fall in the activity of the coronavirus. With this objective, it will make decisions tomorrow that will affect working families, companies, especially affected sectors and SMEs from the fiscal side, but also labor and with more liquidity. After a preparatory meeting yesterday for Sánchez with his vice presidents (Carmen Calvo, Pablo Iglesias, Nadia Calviño and Teresa Ribera) and the finance ministers, María Jesús Montero, and Health, Salvador Illa. The plan for today is, first, to celebrate a Council of Ministers at 12:30 in which this shock plan will be approved, to subsequently meet between the Executive and the social partners. The Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz will go to the conclave; the head of Social Security, José Luis Escrivá; the Minister of Industry, Reyes Maroto and the Minister of Education, Isabel Celáa:
Escrivá confirmed yesterday that the Government will approve a financial benefit for help parents who have to stay home, without the possibility of teleworking, or reducing their working day, due to the closure of schools due to the expansion of the coronavirus. This is a new Social Security benefit with which the parents will be compensated for the loss of income derived from the time they will stop working to take care of their children. It will be included in a decree-law with a benefit that, as Escrivá pointed out, has not yet been implemented in any country. It was one of the unions’ requests.
The Administration would assume the cost of the closings of schools, nursing homes and day centers that are being announced in recent days in some autonomous communities and that could be extended to more parts of the national territory in the next days. Escrivá has announced that a new Social Security benefit will be created that will cover the reductions in working hours that workers have to request to care for their children or elderly dependents, provided they are first grade. According to the Social Security calculation, the cost of this benefit would amount to 50 million.
Liquidity for tourism
It is a key sector in the Spanish economy, a pillar of growth and one of the most damaged by coronavirus effects and some of the measures that will be announced today will be addressed to him. The spread of the disease that has caused parties such as Las Fallas to be suppressed has caused reserves to plummet. «There are hotels that on these dates have 80% less bookings for Easter », assures a source consulted by ABC. The tourism sector has focused in the last few hours on delaying local taxes, such as the IBI, the IAE or municipal taxes.
SMEs, Industry and cars
The aim is to inject liquidity, especially to SMEs, and to this end credit lines and measures will be put in place to promote compliance with obligations tributary by means of deferrals and moratoriums. Because another of the vectors that the plan will include includes that the Treasury prepares fiscal measures to try to alleviate the situation for the companies. Among them will include postponements to the Tax Agency in taxes such as VAT and Companies.
But the heart of the crash plan is aimed at stopping the bleeding of the affected sectors, with Tourism, Industry and Automotive at the forefront, trying to facilitate labor and regulatory flexibility measures to ensure the maintenance of factories. The airlines intend to take advantage of the ERTE facilitation – a measure included in the guide distributed by Labor for companies to combat the coronavirus – since airlines like Air Europa and Norwegian They have already announced that they will have to resort to this mechanism to overcome the crisis.
In the airline sector there is discomfort with the way the government acts and the fact that it did not announce any measure on Wednesday, when it did ban flights from Italy due to the pandemic. The crisis the airline sector is experiencing has caused airlines to request 632,000 fewer seats than last year to fly to Spain from abroad between March and May, despite the fact that this year Easter will fall in April.
The State assumes the casualties
The sick leave of workers infected with coronavirus will be processed as cases of temporary disability due to an accident at work. The Government has taken this first measure that pallows those affected to receive 75% of the regulatory base from the day after the sick leave, which means that the Administration bears the expenses. In addition to positive diagnoses, Social Security extends the condition of this drop to people who are preventively isolated even if they are not sick.
These decisions are included in a royal decree law that will have to be approved tomorrow by the Council of Ministers, which will also include a three-month moratorium for the payment of contributions to Social Security for companies and self-employed workers in the areas most affected by the epidemic.
Unemployment for the self-employed
The self-employed are high on the agenda for support measures. The crash plan will include that the business closure due to falling revenue that this infection is caused is considered to temporarily access the unemployment benefit (cessation of activity). The measure is part of the decalogue of measures that ATA has demanded, the organization that directs Lorenzo Love, among which stands out the suspension of any increase in taxes, state or autonomous, and labor costs, including the rise in the contribution bases of self-employed and companies that the Executive prepares.