The Government has approved this Tuesday in the Council of Ministers the extension of the period of coverage of direct aid for the self-employed and companies affected by the pandemic, which are currently managed by the autonomous communities, until September 30. Thus, debts and fixed costs incurred until September 30, instead of until May 31, can be covered by these aid. Therefore, these grants may be used to pay debts and fixed costs assumed by companies from March 2020 to September 30, 2021.
The Royal Decree-Law clarifies that, within the purposes for which the aid can be used, the concept of fixed costs incurred includes accounting losses generated during the coverage period. Thus, the self-employed and companies may allocate the aid to satisfy debts and make payments to suppliers and other creditors, financial and non-financial, as well as to offset the fixed costs incurred, including accounting losses, provided that they have been generated within the established period. and come from contracts prior to March 13, 2021, the date of entry into force of the royal decree-law.
“What we have done is to extend this period so that the autonomous communities have time to fully execute them so that they finally reach all the companies and freelancers in the territory that have had financial problems and accounting losses due to the pandemic,” explained the Government spokesperson. and Minister of Territorial Policy, Isabel Rodríguez, at a press conference from La Moncloa after the Council of Ministers was held.
The extension of the term of coverage completes the extension of the scope of action that was approved in April 2021. This modification allowed the autonomous communities to include additional sectors and allow access to aid companies that, due to exceptional circumstances, would have registered losses in 2019 .
An insufficient extension, according to the self-employed
The Association of Autonomous Workers (ATA) considers “clearly insufficient” the extension of the period of coverage of direct aid for the self-employed and companies affected by the pandemic until September 30, announced this Tuesday after the Council of Ministers. The president of ATA, Lorenzo Amor, has commented that it is “a step forward for companies”, but that he forgets the self-employed, who had asked to extend the term of pending invoices until December 31.
“With this deadline, tens of thousands of self-employed without being able to access are still left out, since they will not be able to present expenses to collect the aid, even if they have lost 80% or 90% of income,” said Amor in his statements. .
The president of ATA accused the politicians of ignoring the heterogeneity of the activities of the self-employed and businessmen and described the announcement of the Government in this Council of Ministers as “a shame and a failure.”
The extension of the term of coverage will allow to cover with these aid the debts and the fixed costs incurred until September 30, and not until May 31 as established to date. Aid for freelancers and companies may be used to pay debts and fixed costs assumed by companies from March 2020 to September 30 of this year.
Unequal management between communities
Last week, the First Vice President and Minister of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, Nadia Calviño, already announced that the Government had asked the European Commission to extend the extraordinary framework of said public aid due to the existing delays in some autonomous communities. After complaints from business organizations and the self-employed about the restrictive conditions of the decree, Calviño argued that the rhythm in the granting of these aid is varying a lot in the different communities, since some go faster than others.
In fact, the Government spokesperson explained that regions such as the Canary Islands or the Balearic Islands have been “very agile” in the implementation of the aid, while others have encountered management problems.