On August 9, the “social shield” approved by the Government in the first months of the pandemic, in 2020, to counteract some of the consequences caused by the health crisis in the most vulnerable groups of society, will expire. United We can already warned his partner at the time that the deadline was short. And now, with the upturn in the incidence and fear that affect the nascent economic recovery, PSOE claims to extend the validity of the measures until 2022. The Minister of Social Rights has sent a letter to her Cabinet colleagues to demand that “as urgently as possible” to extend the “protection for those people who are suffering most from the social and labor crisis (…) and if necessary to approve other measures that may be necessary.
Brussels applauds the Spanish social shield, warns of “uncertainties” and predicts that the economy will return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022.
“We are once again witnessing an increase in the cumulative incidence and contagion rates of COVID 19, so the pandemic is far from over. This situation will undoubtedly affect very negatively the summer tourism campaign, especially with regard to the activity generated by the arrival of foreign tourists, with the consequent impact of economic and employment nature that we already know,” says the letter, signed by the general secretary of Podemos and sent to the Presidency, Justice, Equality, Consumer Affairs, Transport, Labour, Ecological Transition, Health and Inclusion.
The “social shield” passes, fundamentally, by the guarantee of water and energy supply for vulnerable consumers, the extension of the right to the social bonus for certain groups, the suspension of the eviction procedure and the launchings for vulnerable households without alternative housing, the extraordinary extension of leases, the extension of the consideration of protection and assistance services for victims of gender violence as essential, the urgent measures for the protection and assistance of victims of gender violence or the compatibility of the retirement pension of professionals who practice medicine and nursing with the performance of their activity, among others.
All of these measures, and some others, were extended beyond the current period.e validity of the state of alarm. And the month of August was set as the end of this shield in the certainty that the pace of vaccination and improved tourism data would have made it unnecessary. But the fifth wave and the uncertainty about the summer campaign raise fears that the situations of vulnerability caused by the coronavirus are not receding.
From United We can already raised at the time that the “social shield” should be extended until the end of the year, although the PSOE imposed August 9. In early July the Minister of Social Rights and warned that it would be necessary to extend the validity of the decree. The unions have also called on the socialist side of the government to agree to negotiate the extension.
Belarra proposes to her colleagues in the Council of Ministers “to hold a working meeting to address both the contents of the new RDL to extend the Social Shield and the fastest possible way to ensure its immediate entry into force”.