The self-employed have been the group that is most critical of the urgent economic measures plan presented this week by the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez. Although they recognize the effort made and the rectifications made, believe that there are still many gaps in the royal decree that should be clarified. The main freelance association, ATA, already expressed his disagreement with this plan from the first moment, “because it does not meet our true needs. Those who have businesses, if they stay at home they have no income, but they have to keep paying bills, receipts, rent for business premises or IBI”, Told LA RAZÓN its president, Lorenzo Amor.
It is precisely these additional measures that were eagerly awaited, such as the moratorium on the payment of professional rents, a measure that has not been taken in this first package, as it has been done with mortgages – even if only for a single installment. Given the generalization of these complaints, the Prime Minister himself had to explain himself to the Government at the control session, in which several opposition groups demanded that he take this measure into account. Peter Sánchez limited himself to appealing to the “good will of all parties” to resolve the price of rentals and the temporary termination of contracts. This position sparked criticism from all opposition parties, including his own government partner, Podemos, who maintains his particular “internal war” with the Minister of the Economy, Nadia Calviño, whom he blamed for not taking this measure. . Entities such as the Tenants Union has started a campaign in which it directly demands the “Suspension” of rent payment for freelancers, workers and SMEs who have stopped receiving income, for having lost their job or for ceasing activity.
The second of the complaints has been aimed at the requirements to access the benefits for cessation of activity. Although the Ministry of Labor has reported that the self-employed who request unemployment will obtain it automatically without having to go through the mutual court, according to article 17 of Royal Decree-Law 8/2020, of March 17, the self-employed “You will be entitled to the extraordinary benefit when your activities are suspended or your turnover is reduced by at least 75% in relation to the average turnover of the previous semester” It is on this last point that this group focuses its disagreement, since while self-employed workers can directly access the benefit, for example the corporate -the self-employed with dependent workers- would have to be forced to close in order to justify this benefit. Therefore, if an autonomous entrepreneur can partially maintain the activity and has an income that only decreases 74%, he can no longer access this benefit, even if he has to continue paying fees, insurance, receipts, etc., so he would be doomed to close. Further, have doubts about how their income should be justified. They do not know if it should be done with the statement, with the invoices or with the accounting books. Worse are the freelancers who quote by modules, since their terms are different and the justification practically impossible.
The request for a 50% reduction in Corporation Tax has not been met either. to the most affected sectors, nor that it be directly extended to a temporary suspension for those businesses that carry out their activity in quarantined areas, something that could occur in the next phase of contagion, the total confinement of the population. Another complaint made by the freelancers has been addressed to the Tax Agency, which has not granted a moratorium on the deadlines for submission and entry of self-assessments nor to the deadlines for the presentation of the informative declarations, which will not be affected by this decree, according to what the Treasury reported in a statement. They argue that since it had been approved before the outbreak of the crisis, an exceptional measure so that SMEs and the self-employed could defer payment of taxes for up to six months, with three months without interest, so the compliance dates are still in force. At least they will take into account that if in the next few weeks the term for the declaration and entry of certain self-assessments occurs -and in the event that some companies may have liquidity problems to make the corresponding income-, these self-employed will be eligible to the liquidity measures to face the amounts declared on time and not paid once they access these aid lines. However, many self-employed workers lack the ability to borrow more and are unable to repay these new loans.
They also want to draw the Administration’s attention to a little-known aspect of the government decree, the one that concerns granting medical leave. Articulates the new provision that will be “the doctor of the Public Health Service who issues the low and high part in all cases”, something that can be extremely difficult to accomplish at this stage of the crisis, since confinement would force health representatives to go to thousands of addresses to comply with the law. In addition, mild symptoms are sent home, they are not screened and only serious cases are treated in health centers and the rest are determined as “suspect” without a prescription. The freelancers ask for clarification on how this situation is resolved. Nor do they rule out apply to the Insurance Compensation Consortium who values activating during this period of confinement of the population the same protocol you would approve in a natural disaster, to mobilize additional funds that are made available to businesses that request it to mitigate the interruption of their activity.
Apart from the combative ATA, the other two associations that group the self-employed also make some recommendations. For UPTA it is urgent that the Ministry of Social Security draws up a guide with the procedure to request the benefit and they request to articulate, in common agreement with the mutual insurance companies and the organizations of self-employed workers, “the necessary channels for the approval of all the applications that are submitted and that meet the requirements.” On the other hand, it asks the autonomous communities to complement the aid already approved in order to avoid establishing differences between the territories. UPTA considers that the most appropriate procedure would be that each autonomy will complete up to 100% of the minimum contribution base of temporary extraordinary benefits for cessation of activities included in the royal decree, which cover 70% of the contribution base. Communities “should contribute the other 30%, until reaching 100% ”. This would represent an average aid of 300 euros for each self-employed person and month of receipt of the benefit and would be intended for those who have suspended their economic activities or for those who prove that they have reduced their sales by 75% compared to the average of the previous semester .
For UATAE, the Executive should assess that the exoneration of contributions is not limited to the duration of the Alarm State, and urged that consideration be given to extending this measure beyond that period, since the economic impact “may last over time and we must try to sustain and accompany the return to activity.” Also remember that “the fact that the temporary cessation benefit is calculated on the basis of contribution will again expose social protection deficits“Self-employed workers suffer, and they ask that a study be made of how to move to a more fair and progressive contribution model.” The three associations would welcome, to help SMEs, administrations and large companies advance payments to the maximumSince many small companies have found activity paralyzed when they still have pending collections from previous months or last year.