Tuesday, October 26

Housing and employment make up most of the Spanish Government’s reconstruction plan for La Palma

The Government of Spain has approved this Tuesday the Royal Decree-Law by which urgent support measures are adopted for the repair of the damage caused by the volcanic eruption of La Palma for a total amount of 208 million euros, as announced by the president of the Executive, Pedo Sánchez. The document includes a series of provisions aimed not only at alleviating personal injuries, in homes and commercial and service establishments, but also to implement various actions, framed in an extraordinary employment and training plan endowed with 63 million euros, so that the island affected design a business strategy that is activated once the volcano ceases its activity, with the aim of recovering the situation prior to the eruption.

In the first place, the Executive has agreed a maximum amount in the event that the habitual residence has been totally buried by lava: 30,240 euros. This concession does not mean that affected families will only receive this money if they have lost their home. It is an aid apart from the purchase of homes that have already been initiated by the State and Canary Islands Government, which last week approved to allocate 10.5 million euros to co-finance the purchase of up to 107 public or private homes for the relocation of the people who have lost their home, as well as for the acquisition of basic necessities.

If the laundry has partially damaged the habitual residence, the amount will be 20,640 euros; if it has not affected anything, 10,320; for common elementary damages of general use of a Community of Owners under a horizontal property regime: 18,448 euros. Regarding the subsidies intended to alleviate damages in industrial, commercial and service establishments, the Royal Decree-Law of the Government does not detail the amount if the affected party has not been compensated by the Insurance Compensation Consortium, if so, the The aid will be up to 7% of the amount of compensable damages produced by the incident, up to a maximum value of 9,224 euros.

There will also be aid to local corporations for expenses caused to face the volcanic emergency. In this case, the text clarifies that the amount will be up to 100% of the referred emergency expenses. It does not refer to repairs or replacements in infrastructures, but those actions that cannot be postponed that have been carried out in order to guarantee the life and safety of people and the operation of essential public services may be subsidized. As an example, we find the removal of ashes and the evacuation, accommodation and feeding of evicted people. On the other hand, aid will be granted to natural or legal persons who have carried out the personal or property provision due to an emergency situation, such as firefighters and police officers.

All the aforementioned aid may be requested within a period of six months, counting from the time when the homes or commercial establishments have been affected or since the expenses have been made by the local corporations to face the crisis. Regarding housing, the text makes it explicit that the means of proof are made more flexible to prove ownership and damage caused. Any document that proves said ownership, such as those received from payment of the Real Estate Tax or others of a similar nature, will be admitted as a means of proof.

Regarding the Extraordinary Plan for Employment and Training for the island of La Palma, it will be financed with 63 million euros and will be compatible with other subsidies and aid for the same purpose that come from other administrations, public or private entities, whether national, of the European Union or other international organizations. “The actions linked to these funds will respond to the need to promote the employability and adaptability of workers, their insertion in diversified sectors of activity, as well as the maintenance of employment,” the text details.

The breakdown of expenses for this Plan is as follows: extraordinary employment projects for the recovery and rehabilitation of affected environments: 25 million euros; training for qualification in other productive or emerging sectors with priority for people in ERTE or ERE as a result of the disaster (8); mixed employment and training plans for sectors related to the ecological transition, green economy, blue economy, circular economy, new technologies (18); employment guidance for companies and workers (2) and financial aid for infrastructure and equipment for the self-employed and social economy companies for the restructuring of their activities (10).

For the primary sector the amount is still unknown

The sector that mainly feeds the affected residents of El Paso, Los Llanos de Aridane and Tazacorte, the agricultural and fishing sector, still does not know the exact amount of aid it will receive in the coming months. The text speaks of “compensating” the damages caused by the eruption and “restoring” the rural infrastructures for collective use prior to the catastrophe. There will be subsidies to the owners and crew of the fishing vessels with a base port in Tazacorte and other ports that have not been able to go out to fish these weeks. The management of this aid, compatible with the rest of the actions promoted by the Government of the Canary Islands, will be in charge of the regional Executive in coordination with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. In addition, the State will promote the exchange of farms affected by others of public ownership in which the affected agri-food farms can be relocated.

Tax aid and supply and service contracts

Tax measures include the IBI exemption for damaged homes and businesses, the reduction of IAE fees and the postponement of the income of the debts with the Treasury of the declarations whose term of presentation ends from the entry into force of the decree law until the end of the year. Those affected by the laundry are also exonerated from compliance with contracts of sale or services and supplies.


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