The Catalan Government has announced this Monday a new round of aid to the self-employed most affected by the closures and restrictions of COVID-19, after the failure of the previous package, which generated strong protests from the sector. On this occasion the Generalitat will give 2,000 euros in a single payment to 116,000 self-employed workers, which represents almost a quarter of the self-employed in Catalonia. In total, the Generalitat will distribute 232 million euros to this group, through the new prior registration system launched as a result of the controversy caused by the fall of the website during the previous distribution of compensation.
On this occasion, the Vice Presidency of the Economy and the Department of Labor have chosen to open a general registry of self-employed workers for all types of subsidies related to the pandemic, which guarantees that the aid reaches the group directly when the conditions for access to her, and without the need to request them each time a call is opened. The process to join this registry began on Monday, November 30 and ended this Monday. Unlike the previous call, which was highly criticized, the order of arrival of the applications did not grant preference, but were granted generally.RELATED
On this occasion, the requirements imposed by the department were to have declared less than 35,000 euros of income last year and to have had a net turnover of less than 13,000 euros this year. As explained by those responsible for the Economy and Labor, Pere Aragonès and Chakir El Homrani, 23% of Catalan self-employed workers meet these conditions a priori, which must be reviewed by the administration once they have been registered.
The payment of 2,000 euros will also be one-time and will be transferred directly to the worker’s current account. As promised by Vice President Pere Aragonès, these grants will arrive before the end of the Christmas holidays and, therefore, within a month.
“It is an important figure, but it will not be able to compensate for the losses of the self-employed this year,” acknowledged Aragonés, who nevertheless has underlined the fact that the aid will arrive immediately and without the need for further paperwork.
With the agreement adopted this Monday, the Government has wanted to compensate the group of the self-employed after the crisis generated just a month ago. At that time, a call for subsidies of much smaller amount was opened and through competitive competition, which meant that they were only awarded to the first applicants. This generated a strong discontent among the group, which later grew even more when the registry’s website collapsed and passed about 48 drops.
That episode ended up generating a change at the top of the Labor Department, from which came the two highest-ranking positions below the minister. In addition, the Vice Presidency of Economy took the reins of the design of these aid, announcing that new calls would be opened that would reach all those affected. The package announced now, endowed with 232 million euros, is one of the highest amounts distributed directly since the beginning of the crisis.