This week Spain's central government's intention to substantially modify the self-employed contribution scheme - which affects the amount paid to the Social Security system every month - became known.
The government's intention is to set 13 contribution levels, ranging between 90 and 1,220 euros a month, which would be linked to annual earnings. Currently, most 'autónomos' pay around 300 euros a month and the amount is not related to earnings.
But the plans of the Social Security minister, José Luis Escrivá, do not sit well with the Junta de Andalucía that says “The planned reforms are untimely and come at a time when the self-employed are having a very bad time because of the pandemic."
The regional government’s Minister of Employment, Rocío Blanco, was speaking on La Alameda, a television programme produced by 101TV and SUR, and presented by SUR editor-in-chief, Manuel Castillo.
“This reform would badly hit the pockets of the self-employed Andalusians and the new government scheme acts as a disincentive for people to register as a self-employed person and would motivate them to stay in the underground economy,” said Blanco.
In the event that the central government does impose this reform, Blanco promised that the Junta de Andalucía will use its powers to fight back. It would do so by way of subsidies and applying deductions so that the impact on the self-employed in Andalucía is the least possible. "There must be super-reduced fees," she said and guaranteed that the Andalusian Government will maintain, whatever happens, a flat rate of 60 euros.
Blanco said that any reform of this type requires a "great deal of dialogue" between all the parties involved. Something that has not happened, according to the Minister of Employment: "The proof is that all the self-employed associations have already expressed their rejection of this reform."
Blanco also spoke about the serious impact that the coronavirus has had on employment in the region, “For the first time, we managed to get Andalusia on an equal footing for job creation with the rest of Spain in job creation, even with Europe. Then the pandemic has come along to destroy everything," she said.
To get out of the crisis, Blanco considers it essential that financial aid reaches companies quickly, although she also admitted that the assistance that may come from the Junta "are palliative.” The real impact has to come, she said, with the wise use of 'Next Generation' funds from the European Union.