Catalan government pledges €1bn in extended Covid relief plan
Economic aid to benefit companies, self-employed workers, and employees in temporary layoff situations
The Catalan government has pledged over one billion euros to counter the impact of the coronavirus pandemic in an extended relief plan benefiting companies, self-employed workers, and employees temporarily laid off.
"Our goal is clear: to rescue the productive economy and protect jobs," said president Pere Aragonès on Monday, while promising that "nobody will be left behind."
Most of the funds will come from Spain’s €993 million package transferred to Catalonia to help the economic sectors most affected by the health crisis and the subsequent lockdowns.
Following an agreement between Aragonès’ cabinet and the main trade unions and business associations in Catalonia, the number of sectors benefiting from the economic scheme will grow from 90 to 191. The aid packages are expected to help up to 190,000 companies and workers in Catalonia.
Employers will receive subsidies ranging from €3,000 to €200,000 if they can show they have lost at least 30% of their turnover in 2020.
Workers who have been temporarily laid off during the pandemic will be given varying amounts depending on how long they have been out of work for, starting from January 2021. People who have had their employment suspended for up to 3 months will receive €600, and those who have been affected by the temporary layoff scheme for 4-5 months will get €700.
The finance minister, Jaume Giró, explained that the increase in the number of sectors benefiting from the economic aid won’t lead to a reduction in the money allotted to each group.
The Catalan executive will add 60 million euros in direct financial aid for furloughed workers, with more money allocated to those who’ve spent more time unemployed.
The process for requesting the financial aid will be announced this week, according to business minister Roger Torrent.