Social Services, Palma.

Social Services, Palma.

25-01-2021Pere Bota

Thousands of people in the Balearic Islands who’ve lost their jobs because of the pandemic and are now in a desperate situation can’t access Government aid because they were earning an income in 2019.

The Ministry of Inclusion & Social Security is refusing to help them which means the Balearic Government will have to step in and that’s putting enormous strain on Social Services.

In 2019, the Social Affairs Department received around 152 applications a month on average and 170 in October 2019, but then requests soared to 521 in November and 801 December. All of the applicants stated that that the Ministry of Inclusion & Social Security had rejected their requests.

Collapse

The Social Affairs Department is preparing for an avalanche of new requests between January and June, depending on when the Tourism Sector is reactivated. On Monday the Government Council approved a decree law to expedite the processing of aid in an effort to prevent the collapse of the system.

From Tuesday January 26, an aid request and a declaration of responsibility will be enough to receive grants, according to Minister Fina Santiago

"If we had to do it as we have done until now, we would need quadruple the staff to be able to process all the aid," said Santiago.

Ministry Figures

According to the latest Ministry data, 26,300 aid files had been submitted by October 2020 and 1,900 were duplicated.

Only 1,270 grants of the remaining 24,400 files had been authorised and the rest were still being processed. At that time, more than 5,700 requests had already been rejected and are now being received by the Balearic Government. Minister Santiago said he was in favour of signing an agreement with the Ministry to manage the aid, provided it is clear that Madrid pays.

Ecotax

Hoteliers won’t have to pay tax on ecotax income in September because there’s been no tourists so they haven’t received any ecotax money and according to the decree laws approved by the Government Council on Monday they can also change the tax calculation system if they so wish.

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