Ione Belarra, appears in the Congress of Deputies, on June 1.
Ione Belarra, appears in the Congress of Deputies, on June 1.Eduardo Parra (Europa Press)

United We Can pressure the PSOE again to include new social measures in the extension of the response plan to the impact of the war in Ukraine. The Ministry of Social Rights, in the hands of Ione Belarra, has sent this Monday a battery of proposals to the rest of the competent departments and to the Presidency, which is managed by Félix Bolaños, in which it prioritizes a public transport voucher at 10 euros, the increase 15% of non-contributory pensions (those received by people in a situation of economic vulnerability due to disability or who have not contributed enough to guarantee an ordinary pension), in addition to the structural prohibition of supply cuts to vulnerable families . The second vice president, Yolanda Díaz, also defended this Monday the need to take “one more step” and create an extraordinary tax on electricity companies.

The government partners are already negotiating these days to incorporate additional aid in the decree of anti-crisis measures, which the Executive approved in Congress for the minimum on April 28 and which will be in force only until June 30. Podemos, through Social Rights, demanded last week an extension of the plan until the end of the year, which includes the increase in the minimum vital income or the limit of the annual update of the rent of housing leases at 2%, an issue on which Belarra has spoken again this Monday through a video posted on social media and in which he has described his proposals as “essential”.

The team of the second vice president, who acts as leader of the UP in the Executive, is the one that is centralizing the conversations with the PSOE. Among the priorities that the minority partner has put on the table in these negotiations is the incentive to use public transport and introduce progressiveness in the discount of 20 cents per liter on fuel, which is now applied in a general way. “It is not correct to continue subsidizing without income bias,” Díaz explained in statements to the media in Galicia, where he has also once again requested an extraordinary tax from the large electricity companies. “We believe that one more step must be taken”, the vice president has forcefully pointed out. “The main problem is inflation and we continue to think that the time has come to have an extraordinary tax on electricity companies and that they become co-responsible for what is happening,” she emphasized.

In the detail of the proposals sent this Monday by Belarra, a reduction “in all modalities” of urban and interurban public transport subscription is specified up to 10 euros. This price drop would be covered, according to the ministry, through the application of the Contingency Fund and the granting of a credit supplement in the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda for an amount of 560 million, which would finance an Extraordinary Fund of Promotion of Public Transport.

The general secretary of Podemos also advocates increasing non-contributory pensions by 15% “immediately”, so that the increase is incorporated cumulatively into the payroll for next July. The objective is that the lowest pensions can face the rise in prices without having to wait for the end of the year, explains the department. The Government already agreed a few days ago with Bildu an increase for the same amount in exchange for the support of the Basque group for the bill to promote José Luis Escrivá’s public pension plans.

Social Rights also demands the urgent approval of a modification of the Social Bonus. The ministry seeks to expand its extension so that it reaches two million families, streamline access by automating procedures and exchanging information between administrations. Podemos also wants to regulate the so-called precautionary principle, in such a way that the supply of electricity, natural gas and water cannot be suspended in the habitual residence when the non-payment is due to reasons beyond the control of the owners, such as sudden poverty or worsening of the situation of social or economic vulnerability, something that no longer occurs with the social shield. The intention of Social Rights is that the measure now takes on a structural nature. The department proposes to launch a “compulsory communication protocol” by which the supply company must communicate its intention to cut off the supply beforehand to the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, which will verify the income and request a report from social services. “In the case in which the vulnerability is certified, the electricity, water and gas supply cannot be cut off,” it specifies.

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“This government cannot afford half measures, we have to be brave and do everything on our part so that families do not pay for the consequences of this crisis,” Belarra urges in her message on social networks this Monday. “We have to protect them and carry out an ambitious tax reform so that those who have the most pay at once what corresponds to them in this country”, insists the minister on one of the legislative priorities of Podemos and that, for the moment, the PSOE has decided postpone.





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