Misc 19/11/2020

Ministry of Labour halts first-come, first-serve aids until new format is found

El Homrani's Ministry assures that all subsidies' procedures will be modified from now on

Elisabet Escriche Rivas
2 min
Chakir el Homrani aquest dimecres al ple del Parlament

BarcelonaThe Government has created a little confusion regarding the economic support offered to sectors most punished by Covid-19. The Ministry of Labor has announced on Wednesday evening that "it will modify all aid calls from now on". The first grant that is stopped, therefore, is the one that was due to help the cultural sector, which was to open this Thursday at 9 am and had already been published on the web with a budget of 3.5 million euros. The argument that the Ministry gives in order to take this step is that it is necessary to "rethink how we offer the aids until we find a new granting mechanism".

In a brief statement, Chakir El Homrani's ministry assures that it is modifying the grants "so that they are not awarded in a non-competitive, first-come, first-serve basis". Labour adds that the benefits which have been announced will be maintained, but that work is being done to add more resources in order to help more professionals in the cultural sector. The letter adds that "we are analysing the best option in order to make these grants available for those who request them", and concludes that in the next few days a new mechanism will be discussed with the sectors affected.

The Ministry corroborates that the publication of the grant for the cultural sector on the web "has been done by mistake", and they have decided to halt the grant precisely so that what occurred last week - regarding the aid package of 20 million euros for freelancers, which only reached 10,000 workers and was given out following a time criterion: depending on the order in which the aid was requested - does not happen again. As a result, the system collapsed - the Ministry of Labour blamed JxCat's Digital Policies - and the Government had to apologize.

The controversy erupts again two days after El Homrani dismissed part of the governing board - the general secretary of the Ministry, Josep Ginesta, and the secretary of Social Affairs, Francesc Iglesias - and replaced them with Oriol Amorós, who entered as the vice-Minister - until now he was in charge of immigration - and Marta Cassany, who will occupy the Secretariat for Social Affairs.

This past Wednesday the Minister of Labour apologised for the chaos in delivering the aid for self-employed workers. However, Homrani, who spoke at the Government's parliamentary control session, ruled out resigning despite the opposition asked him to leave.