The Congress of Deputies supports the implementation of a third social shield with measures to protect the middle and working classes, as well as the most affected economic sectors.

The Spanish Congress of Deputies has validated the Real Decreto-ley 20/2022, of 27 December adopting new measures and extending other measures already adopted in 2022 to protect citizens and businesses from the economic and social consequences of the war in Ukraine, as well as to continue the reconstruction of the island of La Palma.

During his speech, the minister defended the fact that these are measures that should be unanimously agreed by Congress “out of patriotism and common sense”. “Out of patriotism, because when there are problems that affect society as a whole, it is reasonable for its representatives to unite. And out of common sense, because it has been demonstrated that these are measures that work”, he assured.

In this line, he stressed that this RDL is “another step in the direction established by President Pedro Sánchez since his investiture, just over three years ago: to govern for the people, in order to make Spain a fairer, more cohesive and more modern country”. Bolaños stressed the Executive’s commitment to “a fair distribution of burdens” and highlighted the value of “the politics of hope for a better and fairer future for our country” as opposed to the politics of fear. The minister also stressed that 2023 will be a good year, in which “Spain will continue to advance economically, socially, in terms of rights and freedoms”.

A third social shield is underway

The RDL approved today constitutes a new package of measures to protect citizens from the social and economic impact of the war, in particular the increase in inflation. It also extends the validity of those that are already proving to be effective.

Among the main policies that the minister detailed in his speech was the reduction of VAT on oil and pasta from 10% to 5%, and the elimination of this tax in food staples such as milk, bread, eggs, cheese, fruit and vegetables, pulses, vegetables and cereals.

In addition, the granting of a cheque for 200 euros 27,000 per year, which will benefit 4.2 million households in our country, as well as the extension of the 15% increase in the minimum living income, the increase in the minimum wage, and the increase in the minimum wage. pensions and that of the SMI -until the one for 2023 is approved-.

The RDL approved today also includes measures aimed at reducing the economic burden of housing costs. The new measures for families, such as the extension of the 2% cap on rent rises throughout 2023; the maintenance, until 30 June, of the suspension of evictions of vulnerable people living in rented accommodation without a housing alternative; and the mandatory extension of rental contracts that end during this period.

Measures to promote public transport and reduce energy prices

Measures to reduce the price of public transport are also provided for. and thus encourage their use, such as the extension of free season tickets for Cercanías, Rodalíes and Media Distancia trains; free bus season tickets for services that fall within the remit of the National Government or the 30% discount for public transport services that fall within the remit of the Autonomous Regions, and a 30% discount for public transport services that fall within the remit of the Autonomous Regions. AA. and local authorities, provided that they agree to an additional 20% rebate. In this way, it will be possible to achieve a 50% price reduction for regular travellers on public transport throughout the country.

In order to protect citizens and companies from the increase in energy prices, the RDL extends, until 30 June, the compensation mechanism for the electro-intensive industry and the cap on the price of butane and liquefied gases. It also extends until the end of the year the reduction in the taxes applicable to electricity bills; the prohibition on cutting off the supply of electricity, natural gas and water to vulnerable consumers and the discount on electricity bills through the bono social.

Source and further information: La Moncloa