The plan has been agreed upon at the proposal of the Third Vice President of the Government and Minister of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, and of the Ministries of Finance, Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, Labor and Social Economy, Industry, Trade and Tourism, Health and Rights. Social and 2030 Agenda.
The measures are aligned with the actions agreed by international organizations in recent days, in particular the European Commission.
In this line of collaboration with these institutions, the Government addresses this exceptional situation with a multiple approach, which includes monitoring the recommendations of the health authorities, developing real-time indicators to record the possible economic impact of COVID-19, the identification of possible risks for specially exposed companies or sectors and the implementation of a plan of measures to mitigate their impacts and that these be as limited as possible in terms of duration and scope.
With these objectives, the plan adopted today responds to the needs of individuals and companies derived from the economic impact of COVID-19, as well as those generated by the specific measures of reinforced containment adopted by public authorities in recent weeks.
Most of the measures are articulated by means of a Royal Decree-Law of urgent measures to respond to the economic impact of COVID-19, which specifically includes actions to strengthen the health sector, protect the well-being of families and support companies affected, in particular from the tourism sector and SMEs.
Strengthening the health system
The Government has taken different measures to strengthen the response capacity of the health sector, both of the central Government and of the Autonomous Communities, before COVID-19, to contain its transmission and to care for the infected people.
Firstly, the resources of the Ministry of Health are reinforced by 1,000 million euros through the contingency fund to meet the extraordinary expenses that are generated, so that it can adequately meet health needs.
In addition, the Government has decided to advance 2,800 million euros of payments on account to the Autonomous Communities to reinforce their availability of resources with which to face immediate needs derived from this situation in their health systems.
Additionally, the Government is empowered to regulate the prices of some products necessary for the protection of health and, in the event of an exceptional situation, the Interministerial Commission on Drug Prices may set the maximum amount of sale to the public of certain drugs and products. .
Support measures for families
The main objective of the support measures for families approved today is to facilitate the protection of minors in vulnerable situations and to ensure the proper functioning of the educational system in the face of the specific containment measures adopted.
The Government provides 25 million euros of specific resources to the Autonomous Communities in order to guarantee the basic right to food for vulnerable boys and girls affected by the closure of schools, through scholarships-canteens, so that this fact does not have unwanted added consequences. This also allows maintaining the economic activity linked to these food services.
In the field of compulsory education, the administrations affected by the reinforced containment measures are empowered to modify the school calendar so that they can flexibly organize the course.
It has also been decided that the personnel at the service of the Public Administration framed in the special regime of administrative mutualism that is in a situation of preventive isolation, as well as those who have been infected with the virus, will be considered as Temporary Disability assimilated to sick leave due to Work accident. In this way, the measure adopted last Tuesday for the General Social Security Regime is extended to public employees.
Support to the business sector
The third group of measures is aimed at supporting business activity and, especially, at the groups and sectors most directly affected by COVID-19.
The Government, to avoid possible treasury tensions for the self-employed and small and medium-sized companies, makes tax payment deferrals more flexible for a period of six months, upon request, with a discount on interest rates. This will allow injecting up to 14,000 million euros of liquidity.
Secondly, a specific financing line is available through the Official Credit Institute amounting to 400 million euros to meet the liquidity needs of companies and self-employed workers in the tourism sector, as well as related activities that are being carried out. seeing affected by the current situation.
Third, companies that have received loans from the General Secretariat for Industry and Small and Medium Enterprises are allowed to postpone their repayment.
Fourth, the Social Security bonuses are extended for discontinuous fixed contracts that are carried out between the months of February and June in the tourism, commerce and hospitality sectors linked to tourism activity.
Finally, the European Commission has been asked to allow the Spanish slot coordinator, AECFA, not to apply the rule that regulates the use of slots for the coming seasons. This exemption would allow airlines not to be penalized in the future for having reduced their flights in the current circumstances.
Efficient management of Public Administrations
In order for the General State Administration to take the appropriate measures to deal with COVID-19, the procedure for contracting all kinds of goods or services that are necessary is streamlined.
Likewise, the Ministry of Finance is empowered to make transfers between the different budgetary sections in order to reinforce the financing of health policy by the State.