Montero responds to Podemos that the unemployment benefit reform does not contemplate cuts

MADRID, 8 Ene.

Montero responds to Podemos that the unemployment benefit reform does not contemplate cuts


The first vice president of the Government and Minister of Finance, María Jesús Montero, replied this Monday to Podemos that the unemployment benefit reform, which the Plenary Congress will vote on next Wednesday, does not contemplate cuts and she is confident that the purple party will finally support the norm with your favorable vote.

In statements to TVE reported by Europa Press, Montero responded in this way after learning that Podemos is considering rejecting the decree law to reform unemployment benefits if the progressive reduction in contributions for those over 52 years of age who receive this benefit is not eliminated.

Sources from the purple party have indicated to Europa Press that, in view of the vote on the rule in Congress, they demand that the Government eliminate this change, which they consider a "cut" in retirement pensions for those over 52 years of age who receive this helps.

Montero has stressed that the Government has explained "to the point" that the subsidy for those over 52 years of age is not reduced. "However, Podemos continues talking about cuts, which we deny," said the first vice president.

The minister explained that what the reform has done is reduce the overpayment associated with the subsidy for those over 52 years of age because, with the increase in the minimum interprofessional wage (SMI), "it is no longer necessary."

"This over-quotation that appeared previously came as a consequence of the fact that the minimum interprofessional wage in our country was really low. We have increased the minimum interprofessional wage by more than 45% and that implies that really at this moment it is not necessary, there is no need for that over-quotation that affected those over 52 years of age. We have explained it ad nauseam," Montero insisted.

The vice president has indicated that conversations with Podemos continue and hopes that "over the next few hours", the purple formation can support "a decree that benefits unemployed people." "I am convinced that Podemos wants to protect these people," she stressed.

Asked if the Government is willing to modify this rule to achieve a yes vote from Podemos in Congress, Montero has limited herself to saying that she is talking to the different groups and that she hopes that "soon" each of them will be able to announce his favorable vote for the decree.

Montero has defended that this subsidy reform has been applauded by the unions and by "all those who are in defense of the workers."

"What this reform gives is greater coverage for unemployed people, so that there are more groups that join and there are also higher benefits than those we previously had. That is, we improve the quality of life, we also improve the provision of unemployment benefits, elements that could not be touched upon in the previous legislature," he highlighted.

The first vice president also recalled that this reform is a requirement of Europe for the receipt of the 10,000 million euros of the fourth payment of European funds.


Regarding the General State Budgets (PGE) for 2024, the minister has indicated that work is being completed with the different departments of the Government, a "quite laborious" process, and "shortly" they will begin to speak with the different groups politicians so that the Budget project "sees the light as soon as possible".

For now, the first plenary session of Congress in 2024 will debate and vote next Wednesday on the budget stability and public debt objectives for all administrations, a first step in the processing of the General Budgets that the PP could overturn with its absolute majority in the Senate.

The vote on these objectives will be carried out with the 2023 Budgets already extended because the Executive has not been able to approve a public accounts project before January 1, 2024 due to the electoral calendar and the subsequent investiture process.

The intention of the Ministry of Finance is to approve the General State Budget law (PGE) for 2024 before April. To do this, the non-financial spending limit, known as the spending ceiling, of the State Budget for 2024 is already ready, which amounts to 199,120 million euros, 0.5% more compared to the previous year, including the funds from of the European Union.


Asked if she will meet with the regional presidents to explain the Government's offer on the forgiveness of regional debt, Montero has indicated that the "natural" dialogue is with the Finance Ministers of the Autonomous Communities, with whom the Ministry will meet "to "to put in common all the elements that have to do with this assumption by the State of the regional debt."

"Those who came out saying that they did not want it are already saying that (...) I have heard some regional presidents of the PP who say that they do have an interest in their autonomous community also having a part of the debt that is removed to be able to take it to the State. I don't want to give any names, but I think even the president of Andalusia himself has said it," said Montero, who believes that the rest of the regional presidents will also join in if the measure benefits their territories.

"I have to see that some of the regional presidents renounce an offer made to them by the Government of Spain, which is very important for their autonomous community and for the cleaning up of public accounts and which could allow them to recover financial autonomy. So "I am convinced that in the end everyone will reach an agreement, beyond the fact that of course they will ask for more (...) I think the proposal is very good and will benefit all the territories," she concluded.