The new Escrivá quotas for the self-employed: from 245 to 565 euros

The Minister of Social Security, José Luis Escrivá. / ef

The minister slightly lowers the minimum, raises the maximum and improves the proposal for income between 1,700 and 2,330 euros, while opening the door to start 2023 with prices similar to the current ones

Lucia Palacios

The Government accelerates the reform of the new contribution system for the self-employed when there are barely more than 15 days left before the deadline agreed with Brussels to have it designed expire and continues to make concessions in order to reach an agreement that at the moment seems complicated. Thus, the Ministry of Social Security presented yesterday to the social agents and the main associations that represent the group a new quota proposal that slightly lowers the minimum, raises the maximum by 15 euros and improves the contributions for average incomes.

Specifically, the fees from next year would range from 245 euros per month for those with lower incomes to 565 euros for those who earn the most, compared to the previous approach that ranged from 250 euros to 550 euros, as explained to this newspaper sources close to the negotiation.

In addition, the Government has finally given shape to the proposal that until now had been verbally unraveling at the social dialogue table and has already drafted the draft bill establishing the new contribution model and which it sent last Saturday by the morning to the social partners. It is 74 pages in which it makes clear the "obligation" of the more than 3.3 million self-employed workers to contribute to Social Security "based on the annual income obtained in the exercise of their economic or professional activities », according to the text to which this newspaper has had access.

For this, the self-employed must choose the corresponding monthly contribution base based on their annual net income forecast, within a scale of bases, limited by a minimum base and a maximum base for each year, which, however, leaves open to be set annually in the General State Budget Law.

His idea is to include in this bill the new table with the fees that the self-employed will have to pay for the next three years, but, nevertheless, the Minister of Social Security, José Luis Escrivá, leaves the door open not to agree before that June ends the thirteen contribution tranches that it intends to implement with quotas between 250 euros and 550 euros, according to the latest proposal on the table that, however, has the direct rejection of the CEOE. This is the table that today's meeting will also have been on the table, but there is also the option that it not be incorporated into the standard now and thus be established in the budgets that are pending preparation.

In any case, to guarantee a smooth application, the draft establishes that during the year 2023 «self-employed workers will contribute by the contribution base of those provided on the scale established in said section that is closest, by excess or by default, to the one for which they were trading in December 2022 ». In other words, the Executive opens its hand to not fully apply the new system in January, but rather that next year, an election year, the contributions of this group are similar to the current ones.

What the regulation does highlight is that the final objective of the Government is to progressively increase the minimum base of the self-employed in 2023, 2024 and 2025, to be equal to the minimum base of the General Regime on January 1, 2026. And there is a gap between the two regimes, since while the minimum bse for wage earners stands at 1,166.7 euros, that for the self-employed is 966 euros.

The text also includes that the self-employed will be able to change the system up to six times a year depending on how much they earn with the aim of making contributions as close as possible to their net returns. In any case, once the year is over, the system includes an automatic correction so that if the self-employed person has chosen a base higher than his income, the system will return the overpaid amount, while if he has paid less than what he has earned, he must enter the difference.

Four types of unemployment

On the other hand, the royal decree that the Government intends to approve soon includes what this newspaper already advanced last week: a new social protection scheme for the self-employed with four different models of cessation of activity, the so-called 'stop' of the self-employed . Thus, the extraordinary cessation of activity that was put in place during the pandemic will become permanent for those cases where an extraordinary rescue is required, such as the closure of the hotel industry that was decreed during this health crisis.

For its part, the traditional ordinary cessation of activity - until now the only existing benefit - is restructured and extended to three different schemes: the cessation of sectoral activity, for sectors that may be especially affected for whatever reason; the ordinary cessation of force majeure, for the self-employed who have a situation of weakness or fragility in their business; and, in turn, there will be a reinforcement for all the self-employed who temporarily have to suspend their activity. In any of these protection schemes, the self-employed will receive 50% of their contribution base for six months and will have to demonstrate a loss billing of 75% and income below the SMI.

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