- Tenant evictions are prohibited for six months from the entry into force of the state of alarm
- Microcredits are articulated through the ICO so that tenants in vulnerable situations can face the rent payment with a repayment period of up to 10 years
- A new subsidy is created for domestic employees affected by the cessation or reduction of activity and for temporary workers whose contract ends and who were not entitled to benefit
- Social Security is empowered to grant moratoriums on the payment of social contributions to companies and the self-employed and deferment of the payment of debts with Social Security is allowed until June 30
- The self-employed who access the benefit for cessation of activity may postpone without charge the Social Security quota for March for the days they have worked.
- Also included in the mortgage moratorium are the properties affected by the economic activity of the self-employed
- The rights of consumers in the suspension or termination of contracts, the reimbursement of pension plans and protection against compulsive gambling are reinforced
- Businesses will not be able to cut basic supplies in any citizen's usual home during the state of alarm
The Council of Ministers approved this Tuesday a new package of economic and social measures that complete and reinforce the measures adopted in the last three weeks by the Government to minimize and counter the impact of COVID-19.
This new package of measures is articulated through a Royal Decree-Law that includes more than 50 measures that complement the security network articulated by the State to respond to the situation that the pandemic has created. This new group of measures is divided into three blocks: firstly, support for the most vulnerable workers, families, consumers, the self-employed and the collectives, so that their financial situation and fixed expenses can be alleviated and their preservation thus a minimum income.
Secondly, initiatives are promoted to sustain the productive fabric and employment, and facilitate the future recovery of activity; and, thirdly, flexibility measures are adopted for various activities and processes of the Administration.
Finally, some of the measures adopted in Royal Decree-Law 8/2020, approved on March 17, have been reinforced, in addition to extending their duration to one month after the end of the state of alarm.
These are measures that reinforce the Government's commitment "so that no one is left behind", as the Minister of Finance and Spokesperson, María Jesús Montero, recalled and that allow "the social shield against the coronavirus to be reinforced," as he explained. the vice president of Social Rights and the 2030 Agenda, Pablo Iglesias.
The first block of measures aims to support people who are unable to pay their rents because they are in a vulnerable situation due to COVID-19 and who have no housing alternative. First, evictions are suspended for six months from the entry into force of the state of alarm.
Second, the automatic renewal of rental contracts that expire in the three months following the entry into force of this rule is implemented. This extension will be for six months and the terms and conditions of the contract in force will be maintained.
Third, an automatic moratorium is established on the payment of their rent for those tenants in vulnerable situations whose landlord is a large holder of housing, both public and private, including the Social Housing Fund of financial entities. Anyone who owns more than ten properties is understood as such.
The moratorium on the payment of the rent will be prolonged while the state of alarm lasts or while the situation of vulnerability persists, with a maximum of four months. Once this situation is overcome, the tenant will return the unpaid installment or installments over a period not exceeding three years, without any type of penalty or interest being applied.
Fourth, the moratorium is regulated for the case in which the lessor is not a large holder of real estate, something that happens in 85% of cases. In these circumstances, the tenant, whenever he is in a vulnerable situation, may request a deferment in the payment of his rent. The lessor will have seven days to accept it, propose an alternative or reject it.
In the event that there is no agreement, the tenant will have access to a program of transitional financing aids at zero cost with the guarantee of the State. The tenant may request a finalist credit, directly paid to the lessor, for an amount of up to six monthly rent, to be returned within a maximum period of ten years. This credit will have no interest, it will be granted by credit institutions and will have the endorsement of the State, through the Official Credit Institute (ICO), which will sign the corresponding agreement with the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda.
For people who have more permanent problems in paying the rent, a new program of direct rental aids on their habitual residence is also established and which may be added to those mentioned above.
The norm incorporates a specific program for victims of gender violence, homeless people and others who are especially vulnerable, in order to provide them with an immediate housing solution. A grant of up to 600 euros per month is established, which can be raised in justified cases up to 900 euros, always with a limit of 100% of the property's rent. And another 200 euros are added to pay for maintenance, community and basic supplies expenses, with a limit of 100% of them.
Mortgage moratorium extended
Regarding housing, aspects related to the mortgage moratorium regulated in RDL8 / 2020 are clarified. Thus, the suspension period goes from one to three months; the accreditation of vulnerability is adapted to the situation derived from the state of alarm, being sufficient in these circumstances with a responsible declaration of the beneficiary on his situation; and it is clarified that the suspended fees are not paid at the end of the suspension, but that all the remaining payments are postponed for the same period. It is also added to the self-employed among the groups that can benefit from this moratorium.
With the same philosophy as the moratorium on the payment of rents or mortgages, the Royal Decree-Law approved today establishes the possibility of a moratorium on credits and non-mortgage loans that keep people in vulnerable situations, including consumer loans .
Finally, local corporations are empowered to use the surplus from previous years to adopt support measures for vulnerable groups in the area of housing.
Support in basic supplies
Another axis in which the new package of measures deepens has to do with guaranteeing basic supplies to more households. Thus, the group of potential recipients of the electric social voucher is expanded, to which people who have been affected by employment regulation measures of their companies or, in the case of self-employed, have ceased their activity or seen their income reduced by more than 75%.
Furthermore, in a context in which, due to a longer stay in the home derived from containment measures and due to the development in it of professional activities that are normally carried out outside the habitual residence, measures are established to guarantee the continuity of energy and water supplies in the home, prohibiting their suspension for reasons other than security of supply.
New social aid
Continuing with the idea transferred by the Government of leaving no one behind in this crisis, new benefits are established for groups that were not entitled to them.
A temporary extraordinary subsidy is created for domestic employees who have seen their working hours reduced or their contract terminated as a consequence of COVID-19. The amount of this benefit, which is retroactive if the cause is the current health crisis, will be equivalent to 70% of the employee's regulatory base. It will be compatible with the maintenance of other activities, without, in that case, the sum of remuneration may exceed the amount of the Minimum Interprofessional Salary.
Likewise, it is established that people who had a temporary contract of duration of at least two months that had expired after the declaration of the state of alarm and that did not reach the minimum contribution period to receive an unemployment benefit can receive an extraordinary subsidy equivalent to 80% of the monthly amount of the Multiple Effects Public Income Indicator (Iprem), establishing access requirements based on the income situation of the family home
Other measures to support people
To alleviate the liquidity needs of citizens, the assumptions in which contributions made to pension plans can be redeemed are expanded, so that people who are involved in a temporary employment regulation and the self-employed who have ceased their activity as a consequence of the effects of COVID-19.
Different consumer protection measures are adopted in contracts for the sale of goods and the provision of services, whether or not they are successive, whose execution is impossible as a consequence of the application of the measures adopted in the declaration of the state of alarm. In these cases, consumers may exercise the right to terminate the contract for a period of 14 days.
In successive tract contracts, the collection of new fees will be paralyzed until the service can return to normal, without this entailing the termination of the contract.
Regarding services provided by various providers, in the case of package tours, for example, the consumer may choose to request a refund or make use of the voucher that will be provided by the organizer or, where appropriate, the retailer. Said bonus may be used within one year from the conclusion of the state of alarm. If not used during this period, the consumer may exercise the right of reimbursement
In the field of the telecommunications sector, the standard clarifies that the suspension of portability only affects those operations in which there is a need for users to physically move to stores or that physical interventions are carried out at home, except in cases of overwhelming force
In addition, and to avoid that the consumer may be harmed by the suspension of portability operations, it is established that users cannot see their rates increased during the time they cannot request a change of company.
Finally, in a context in which leisure activities are highly affected by containment measures derived from the state of alarm, limitations are also established in advertising and in the promotion activities of certain online gaming activities.
Support to the productive fabric
In order to alleviate the financial situation of companies and the self-employed affected by the current crisis, the General Treasury of Social Security is empowered to grant exceptional moratoriums on the payment of social contributions.
In the case of the self-employed, it is established that those who are beneficiaries of the benefit for cessation of activity may pay the contributions for the month of March corresponding to the days prior to the declaration of the state of alarm without any surcharge.
It is allowed that companies and freelancers who do not have deferments of payment of debts with Social Security in force can request until June 30, 2020 the deferment of payment of the debts that must enter between April and June 2020 without applying any interest.
For access to extraordinary benefit for cessation of activity, the rule is adapted to contemplate the situation of certain groups that have a high degree of seasonality, such as agriculture, culture, those linked to events such as Easter or others .
Likewise, it facilitates the completion of all the procedures related to deferments in the payment of debts, moratoriums or returns of undue income through the RED electronic communication system.
In addition, different measures are established so that the self-employed and companies that have been affected by COVID-19 can make the payment of basic supplies such as electricity, water or gas more flexible, even going as far as the possibility of suspending their payment. The amounts owed will be paid within a maximum of six months after the end of the alarm state.
The norm also establishes a series of measures that, as in past royal decree-laws, aim to preserve employment to the maximum. In this sense, the commitments to maintain employment during the six-month period established in RDL 8/2020 are adapted to the particularities of certain sectors, particularly those linked to the world of culture, taking into account their variability and alignment with events. concrete.
The procedures for calls for loans or grants from the General Secretariat for Industry and SMEs are also made more flexible. In this sense, the guarantees for new loans in the resolution process may be presented once the alarm state ends.
Likewise, modifications may be requested in the amortization tables of loans already granted to industrial projects. Graduation criteria are established in the fulfillment of programs financed by the aforementioned General Secretariat …
The endowment for CERSA (Spanish Re-guarantee Company) is increased by 60 million euros, so that it can guarantee a greater number of operations.
ICEX is empowered to reimburse companies that have incurred unrecoverable expenses for the fees paid for participation in fairs or other international promotion activities that have been called by the institution and have been canceled, postponed or affected by the COVID-19.
The payment of interest and amortization of credits granted by the Secretary of State for Tourism is suspended for a period of one year and without the need for a prior request.
The CDTI is included among the organizations that will be able to streamline aid and contributions to the business sector, in order to promote innovation in the fight against the pandemic, as well as guarantee the proper functioning of the business fabric. This will allow both the rapid financing of prototypes and the availability of the industrialization of medical devices considered urgent.
On the other hand, flexibility is introduced in the commercialization of fuels, given the decrease in consumption and the lower rotation of the storage tanks than expected, so that it is possible to delay the start date of commercialization of gasoline with summer specification, being able to sell until June 30, 2020 gasoline with vapor and distillate pressure that has limits between the minimum summer limit and the maximum winter limit.
And the access and connection permits to the electricity networks established in Law 24/2013 of the Electricity Sector are extended in two months from the end of the state of alarm, in order to give legal security to the promoters of electricity generation projects, on which large investments essential for the fulfillment of the objectives of penetration of new renewables depend.
The Royal Decree-Law allows public employees, without modification of their labor circumstances, to carry out tasks other than those of their workplace and voluntarily support those areas and activities of a sanitary, socio-sanitary, employment nature, for the protection of groups vulnerable and others that require reinforcement in personnel as a consequence of the situation caused by COVID-19.
Similarly, it enables the retired health personnel to return to work, making their activity compatible with the receipt of their pension.
On the other hand, the income derived from the contribution for professional training is allowed to be applied to the financing of any of the benefits and actions of the unemployment protection system, including, in this way, broader purposes than mere training.
Given the current circumstances, it is granted to bank foundations that have a divestment plan already approved by the Bank of Spain to extend the term they have up to two years. In the event of opting for this expansion, a reserve fund must be provided with an annual allocation of at least 50% of the amounts received from the credit institution of which they are shareholders as dividends.
Regarding investment, a macroprudential rule is adopted, empowering the National Securities Market Commission to modify the requirements applicable to collective investment institution management companies.