Podemos wants to go a step further in the government’s shield against the crisis and this week it will propose to the PSOE the creation of an aid check of up to 500 euros for families and a 33% tax to tax the extraordinary benefits of large chains of supermarkets. The Executive parties must negotiate before the end of the year the extension of the decree of measures in response to the economic situation derived from the war in Ukraine and the minority partner has already begun to shell out some of the proposals that it will bring to the negotiating table, which include the freezing of rental income and also mortgages.
The price of the shopping basket – which has risen by 15.4% in recent months – is of particular concern to United We Can, as Vice President Yolanda Díaz recalled last Wednesday at a press conference. Just one day after President Pedro Sánchez opened up to propose measures aimed at curbing the cost of food, the head of Labor once again spoke out on a matter that already caused enormous controversy within the Executive branch last September.
Specifying this intention, Podemos has proposed this Monday at a press conference the creation of a check of between 250 and 500 euros, depending on the income of the families, whose mission is to “loosen” the weight of the shopping basket on citizens, as defended by one of the spokesmen for the formation, Pablo Fernández. The check would cover more than eight million households and would be granted in a single payment, according to this proposal.
From April until now, the Executive has approved different aids, both on the side of spending and income. The first block includes supports such as the 20-cent discount on fuel or the 200-euro check that was granted during the summer to mitigate the inflationary spiral; the second includes the tax reduction for gas and electricity supplies or the public transport subsidy. While waiting to find out what measures the Government will extend and if it will introduce new initiatives, various organizations, from the EU to the OECD or Airef, urge to focus income aid, focusing on the most vulnerable.
Podemos is also going to demand an extraordinary tax on the large food distributors and marketers to finance the new aid packages – two new extraordinary taxes on banking and energy are now being processed. It is a 33% rate that would tax the profits of supermarkets, in line with what has been proposed in countries like Portugal, Fernández explained. We can also believe that this tax would have a “dissuasive effect” when it comes to avoiding a rise in prices.
The party also seeks that the new decree of stockings against the crisis include a freeze on rents, as was done during the pandemic, and also on variable-rate mortgages, after the Government and banks reached an agreement agreement on the most vulnerable mortgagees. Díaz already explained the interest in this measure last week. “It is an impossible mission for many Spanish families to assume the increase that the Euribor represents,” he considered then, referring to the 44% more fee that must be paid by those who now review their mortgages.
Finally, Podemos has also proposed increasing state funding for public transport to 50%. “These are measures that will protect the public,” Fernández highlighted. “The coalition government has to continue betting on policies that put people at the center and that make those who have the most contribute more,” he summarized.
Asked about these measures during her visit to Buenos Aires, Díaz did not want to go into detail. “This is a crisis not caused by wages, but by energy,” she reiterated. “Measures are being negotiated to continue advancing in the protection of rights. It remained to act on two sectors. One is food, with a runaway CPI and a notable expansion of business margins. The other is housing, both due to the rise in the Euribor and also due to many leases that are impossible for many people ”, she pointed out, reports Federico Rivas Molina.
The negotiating commission between PSOE and Unidas Podemos has less than three weeks to close an agreement that extends the government decree against the crisis. In these conversations are the Secretary of State for Social Rights and economic man of Podemos, Nacho Álvarez, Díaz’s chief of staff, Josep Vendrell, and the economic advisor of the second vice presidency, Manuel Lago.
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