The Second Vice President and Minister of Economy, Nadia Calviño , has insisted that the objective is to close within this year the changes in labor legislation so that it enters into force next year, with the modernization of collective bargaining , or subcontractors , In other words, the most important questions to be negotiated with the social agents.
The objective is to close the agreements before the end of the current year, but it has not wanted to prejudge whether one of them will be the pre-eminence of sector agreements over company agreements, since it has left the result in the hands of social dialogue.
The third vice president, Minister of Labor and head of this matter, Yolanda Díaz , has defended from the beginning to carry out all the changes within this same year, something to which a part of the Government was initially opposed.
In presenting the details of the recovery plan , in addition to this aspect, Calviño stressed that the tax reform is in the hands of the recently created committee of experts and based on proposals from the Independent Authority for Fiscal Responsibility (AireF) and, as regards the pensions , stressed that the goal is to maintain the purchasing power of benefits in the short and medium and long term .
He has also affirmed that the new contribution system for the self-employed , so that it is adapted to their real income, is expected to come into force next year despite the fact that a few days ago, the head of Social Security, José Luis Escrivá , delayed it to 2023.
The vice president has assured that Spain has already advanced in a hundred reforms and investments, with which she expects that the first disbursement of European funds (16,000 million) will take place already in the second part of the year, which is will add to the 9,000 million of pre-financing foreseen. Of the 27,000 million collected in the State Budgets for this year, 25,000 correspond to the fund and the other 2,000 to the React-EU mechanism, destined essentially to health.
According to Calviño, a total of 330 milestones will be met over the next three years, which will allow disbursements of funds every six months. The vice president has highlighted that the plan, which includes reforms and investments to have access to the 140,000 million euros of European funds ‘Next Generation-EU’ to which Spain is entitled, represents “a historic opportunity” for the country .
In these next three years, almost 70,000 million are foreseen in non-refundable resources , that is, they do not have to be returned. To these amounts will be added the 30,000 million in structural funds that correspond to Spain in the 2021-2027 period , he explained.
Concentration in the first three years
The plan focuses on the first three years to boost activity as early as 2021, the vice president said. The forecast is that it contributes two percentage points a year and generates more than 800,000 jobs throughout the period and that the pre-crisis GDP will recover by the end of 2022 and be on the path of growth before the pandemic at the end of 2023, he recalled.
This project is supported by four main axes: ecological transition, digital transformation, gender equality and social and territorial cohesion .
He added that the structural reforms are to end the imbalancesof the Spanish economy and has highlighted the improvement of business demography and entrepreneurship, the reform of human capital, the new industrial policy with support for SMEs and certain sectors of the future, the strengthening of the national health system, the revaluation of capital natural, modernization of physical and digital infrastructures, continue advancing in the reform of the energy system, in the modernization of public policies in the workplace, the reinforcement of the welfare state, the modernization of administrations and the tax system for the XXI century.
Calviño has highlighted the uncertainty and that there has been a negative first quarter. In any case, he added that the unemployment and affiliation data corroborate that this first quarter was one of transition towards a recovery that began at the end of March and continues, he explained. He stressed that more than 60% of the jobs lost in the first wave of the pandemic have been recovered .
Vaccination and plan
The objectives, he explained, are to accelerate the vaccination process , maintain financial stability, continue supporting families and the productive fabric, and deploy “in an agile and efficient way” the recovery plan.
The measures taken so far have made it possible to close the year with an unemployment rate of 15.5% and a public deficit of 10.1%, below previous crises, he added. But a reform and investment plan is required to correct the deficit of the latter. The previous crisis caused public investment to plummet from around 5% of GDP to 2%, he recalled.
This presentation comes after Brussels encouraged the Government to publish the calendar of reforms linked to obtaining European funds, among which the labor, tax and pension reforms stand out. The Executive plans to detail what is included in the plan of different calls of the ministries in which they will explain everything that concerns them.
There has also been a huge controversy over the possibility of abolishing the tax advantage of joint taxation of marriages and common-law couples in personal income tax, something that was included in one of the annexes that the Executive released last Friday to the last time and that they later attributed to an “error”, since, they say, it is not on the table.
This formula essentially benefits those families with only one income earner or those in which the second earner has a low income level. Calviño has also attributed it to a “mistake”.