After moving quickly to provide a stimulus package for businesses the face of the coronavirus outbreak, the government is now facing increasing pressure to honour its announcement that help would also be extended to the self-employed and other precarious workers.
While a proposal is expected to be unveiled by the Economy Ministry later this week, key ideas being promulgated in different petitions include cancelling or deferring social security contributions for sole proprietors and providing aid to precarious workers making less than minimum wage.
The opposition Left proposed last Friday that the income threshold for cancellations of contributions for the self-employed be put at EUR 20,000 in 2020, a figure echoed today in a petition to the government signed by over 6,000 people.
The petition, which argues that 100,000 self-employed workers or 12% of the working population would be affected, proposes that the exemption become effective immediately and remain in place until the pandemic ends. Those exceeding the threshold at the end of the year would reimburse the budget.
One of the first to urge an expansion of the stimulus package to the self-employed was the Chamber of Craft and Small Business (OZS), which spoke of 68,000 self-employed persons last Wednesday and also proposed a lifting of social contribution payments.