Spain’s Minister of Social Security discusses social aid for families and ERTE for the workforce affected by the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic

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The Minister of Social Security, José Luis Escrivá Credit: Twitter

Spain’s Minister of Social Security discusses social aid for families and ERTE for the workforce affected by the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic.

SPAIN’S Minister of Social Security, José Luis Escrivá, announced this Wednesday that the government are soon to approve the new minimum income for the most vulnerable families. Sources close to the second vice president, Pablo Iglesias, explained that on Tuesday they agreed with the President, Pedro Sánchez, to approve the new minimum income in May. Escrivá explained that the new social aid will benefit about 100,000 single-parent households.

The minister stressed that it is “absolutely” necessary to advance this income “to avoid the most vulnerable suffering.” The plan will take the “best incentives that exist in Europe” and will involve itineraries for inclusion in the labour market, as they also exist in the income of the Basque Country.
In recent weeks there had been a tug of war between Escrivá and Iglesias on account of the minimum income. The Minister of Social Security worked from the beginning of the legislature on an aid that was structural, analysed the different options and wanted to coordinate it with the autonomous communities, which are competent and have already deployed some similar aid. Iglesias, for his part, wanted to advance it due to the extraordinary situation caused by the Coronavirus crisis.
Escrivá did not specify the total cost of the measure for public coffers, nor how many residents could benefit. “It will not be an individual benefit but will put the emphasis on households and will differ according to the structure of these households,” he said. The minister assured that this income will reduce extreme poverty “in very high numbers” and that the municipalities will be decisive in its management.
Escrivá also announced that there are already almost four million workers affected by ERTE. It is, he said, 16 per cent of the entire workforce, reflecting the size of the impact the economy has suffered as a result of the pandemic.
Escrivá specified that almost two million people affected by ERTE are already collecting unemployment benefits. And another two million workers will start collecting it in May when all files are registered.
The minister insisted that these are “unprecedented measures, which are very extensive and that will be able to protect the incomes of more than six million people.”
The head of Social Security specified that of the nearly 6.3 million people who receive aid in this crisis, about four million will receive unemployment benefit for having been affected by ERTE, another 1.4 million will be self-employed and about 900,000 workers, most of whom are temporary, have lost their jobs and will receive unemployment benefits.

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