surinenglish

Broad measures in Spanish government's 200-billion-euro plan include mortgage breaks

Banks will process requests.
Banks will process requests. / SUR
  • The 45-page Royal Decree announced on Tuesday is worth 20 per cent of the annual turnover of the Spanish economy

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced an unprecedented economic stimulus package on Tuesday, contained in a 45-page Royal Decree that is worth "20 per cent" of the annual turnover of the Spanish economy.

As well as assistance to companies in the 200-billion-euro giveaway, there were significant measures for the general public.

Mortgage payment breaks

Homeowners will be allowed to put off all or part of their mortgage repayments for the time being if they can prove their income has been affected by the coronavirus crisis. Loan holders should make the request at their bank before 3 May. A bank has up to two weeks to reply.

Different financial factors will be taken into account and applicants will be asked to provide documentary proof.

For example, total household income cannot be more than about 1,600 euros, although there are reductions for having children or older people at home, single parents and people with disabilities. The monthly mortgage payment and basic expenses have to be at least 35 per cent of total household income. Self-employed needing a mortgage break have to prove their income has dropped 40 per cent.

Restrictions in utility firms

Public utility companies have been banned from cutting off their most vulnerable clients if they do not pay their bills during the crisis.

The government has also stopped people changing mobile phone operator during the crisis in order to provide stability for telecom companies.

In extra workplace measures, those forced to stay away to help family members will have the right to reduce the number of hours they work. This is in addition to the already announced rule change where sick leave taken because of coronavirus counts as a workplace accident, in order to protect longer-term welfare payout rights.