Monday, July 4

Now is the time to support the self-employed

In the economic context in which we find ourselves, emerging from an unprecedented economic crisis caused by COVID-19, the self-employed community needs, more than ever, the support of all public institutions.

A desire to which apparently only those of us who believe that the Spanish production model is correct aspire to, that what is needed is not to change said model for the sake of a misunderstood modernization but to make the model productive. In Spain there are many companies and freelancers that were completely viable in March 2020 and that will be with a little support.

70% of the self-employed do not know what recovery is and 30% do not expect to recover until 2023. There are still ninety-five thousand freelancers in cessation of activity and 700 thousand living a very complicated situation after 19 months of pandemic.

And the rest of what surrounds us is unfortunately not very positive. 2022 will once again be a complicated year, private investment remains in the red, we will not reach the pre-crisis GDP nor will we reach the perspectives set by the Government. We will close with a growth of 4.6 or 4.8%, which means that we will not recover to pre-pandemic levels until well into 2023. I am concerned about inflation, the unprecedented escalation of energy costs, the lack of components that we are having, but above all that momentum that we are seeing rising taxes, raising prices, increasing labor costs …

We will have to be attentive to labor regulations, because ending internal flexibility can greatly harm not only job creation but also job maintenance.

The Government has no other way to help the self-employed than by giving them a new blow. According to the PGE for 2022, the contribution bases go up, the minimum for self-employed individuals from € 944 to € 960 and the minimum for corporate members from € 1,214 to € 1,234, which means raising their quota between € 95 and € 390 per year, depending on whether it contributes by the minimum base or by the maximum. Let’s put the figures on the table, a self-employed company on a minimum basis (your mechanic, your manager …) will pay a social security fee from January, whatever you enter, € 377.87, and a self-employed natural person (your English teacher, your baker, your plumber, your taxi driver), at least € 293.94.

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And as if this were not enough, the Government announces a rise in contributions to, according to him, guarantee the pension system. They want to sell us that what they want to approve is an intergenerational equity mechanism, which will guarantee the sustainability and improve the pension system, but this is not true. The reality is that it is a new rise in prices. At most it will raise 4,000 million euros, which in ten years will be 40,000. This money will be used to pay two monthly pension payments in 2030. Don’t be fooled.

The Government should focus on eliminate obstacles, lower taxes and facilitate activity for the self-employed and new entrepreneurs. And yet, he is still determined to trip the self-employed and making their economic activity very difficult. It is time to stop the rise in the minimum contribution bases, it is not the time, the self-employed first have to recover and later they may be required to increase contributions. It is time to support the freelancers. If the self-employed do well, Spain will do better.

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