Aid to the hospitality industry is late and still does not convince the sector

After several weeks of delay, the Council of Ministers finally approved on Tuesday a package of aid to the hospitality and commerce sector to alleviate the great impact of the coronavirus crisis. Among them, the possibility of reduce your rent by 50% in case they have the establishment leased to a large holder (those with more than 10 urban properties).

For the Government it is an “ambitious” package of measures, with an impact of 4,220 million euros, according to the spokesperson María Jesús Montero, but instead does not convince the sector by not introducing direct aid as has happened in countries like Germany. The aid also comes a month after they were announced by President Pedro Sánchez and according to the hoteliers “they do not respond to the needs” of the companies and the Hospitality Industry of Spain qualifies the plan as “insufficient”. In addition, those who have already agreed to a temporary reduction in rent or a moratorium with their landlords are excluded from the exemption from paying half the rent.

Montero stressed that businesses that prefer can benefit from a moratorium on monthly payment during the state of alarm and four additional months, without penalty or interest payment. They would have to pay the amount – full, in this case – within two years after the end of that period. The Government estimates that this measure will benefit some 190,000 companies, 33,000 related to tourism and 157,000 commercial premises.

For the smallholders will be offered tax incentives, such as the deduction in the personal income tax of the reduction in the rental price that is agreed. In other words, if the landlord forgives 100% of the rental fee, that amount can be deducted on your income statement. Some 323,000 lessors may be eligible for this measure.

But since Association of Self Employed Workers (ATA), ensure that this new rescue plan is a “song to the siren” and that “a new opportunity to help the self-employed has been lost.” “It is late, it is scarce and without direct aid to the affected sectors”, explains the president of ATA, Lorenzo Amor, who argues that the measures approved by the Government “have nothing to do with the real needs of thousands of merchants and hoteliers ».

The sector gives as an example other EU countries such as Germany, the United Kingdom or France, where their governments have injected funds directly into small entrepreneurs, which has led to fewer business closures than in Spain, where it is expected that up to a third Of the total number of bars and restaurants, some 100,000 locals have to permanently lower the blinds this year.

The president of the employer, José Luis Yzuel, stressed in a statement that the Executive “has not complied with the rescue plan that is needed and that goes through direct aid to survive.” Initially the entity claimed 8,500 million euros to lost fund. In his opinion, the content of the decree law announced today after the council of ministers is “very scarce”, especially if one takes into account that the sector plans to end 2020 with a 50% drop in its turnover.

Beyond the rent cuts, the Government announced a new tranche of 500 million in liquidity ICO for SMEs and freelancers of these sectors with a 90% guarantee from the State. In terms of taxes, the deferral of tax obligations is allowed for six months with a three-month grace period, that is, the taxes for the first quarter of 2021 will not have to be paid in April, they may be deferred until October.

In addition, the reduction for companies that pay personal income tax for the module system goes from 5% to 20% reduction, being in the case of hotels, commerce and tourism 35%.

And at the level labor, includes an expansion of the sectors most protected by the ERTE, including in the sectors of wholesale trade of beverages, restaurants, beverage establishments, botanical, zoological or natural parks, the possibility of making ERTE of force majeure with reduction of the 85% of business contributions if the company has less than 50 workers and 75% if it has more, during the months of December and January.

The 50% discount on the business contributions of the permanent discontinuous workers of companies in these sectors from April to October 2021.

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