The government and self-employed associations opened negotiations on Tuesday to define the adaptation of the main aid received by the self-employed to cushion the impact of the crisis, the so-called benefit for cessation of activity, to the escalation of decontamination and the gradual return to activity in many businesses. The sector is demanding that the said subsidy be extended in conditions similar to the current ones until June 30 and that its extension be considered further for the sectors that will take longer to recover the ordinary levels of turnover.
The outcome of the talks may be essential for many of the more than 20,000 self-employed people in Girona who have received the extraordinary benefit for cessation of activity (about 700 euros per month on average) since its creation in March. This group, equivalent to 33% of all self-employed and small business owners in the region (59,000Ç), is made up of people whose businesses were forced to close with the state of alarm or who, being able to open, went suffer income losses in excess of 70% as a result of the collapse in demand associated with population confinement measures. As was the case with the temporary employment regulation (ERTOs) files, which have just been extended until the end of June with changes in the conditions to adapt them to escalation, the executive and the self-employed are exploring options for continuity. of the benefit for cessation of activity.
The organizations ATA, UPTA and UATAE proposed on Tuesday to ministers Nadia Calviño (Economy), Yolanda Díaz (Labor) and José Luis Escrivá (Social Security) that the said benefit, linked by law to the duration of the state of alarm ( until May 30, if there is no new extension), hold until June 30. According to Lorenzo Amor, Secretary General of ATA, his impression after the meeting was that the Government will accept this extension, although he did not rule out changes in the conditions of aid, a kind of “modulation” , said Amor in reference to the possibility that, in the event of the resumption of activity, the amount of the benefit or the exemption from the Social Security contribution that is linked will change after 30 May.
The three organizations also advocate that the subsidy be maintained, under the conditions agreed upon, for the sectors that will have the most difficulty in regaining normalcy.
Self-employed organizations are also demanding that the subsidy reach seasonal self-employed workers, such as certain professionals with occupations linked to tourism and who have a stable but discontinuous dedication, marked by the seasonality of the sector. Lorenzo Amor (ATA) also expressed the complaints of the self-employed for the difficulties of access to public guarantees from the ICO to obtain bank financing. “We estimate there are 600,000 requests in limbo, with no response,” he said.
The president of Autònoms PIMEC, Miquel Camps, lamented on Tuesday that the aid to the group “is insufficient and has not arrived in time or form”. He added that in many cases, public administration measures “involve debt.” «From Autònoms PIMEC we defend the interests of the group. During this crisis we assist them by telephone advising and helping them, we have launched a mailbox of reports of abuse by banks or large companies, and we report on this situation and regulatory developments with videos, frequently asked questions, news , among other issues, ”he explained. Camps considered that “to reinvent oneself in times of crisis you need to make brave decisions, adapt and innovate.”
The latest data from the Social Security indicates that in Girona there are a little more than 59,000 self-employed people, and of these, more than 20,000 took on government aid. At the end of April, the State had made the payment for cessation of activity to 20,049 self-employed workers in the counties of Girona.