Tuesday, September 21

The Government extends until October 31 the “social shield” that protects the vulnerable population from the effects of the pandemic

The two partners that make up the progressive government, PSOE and Unidas Podemos, have reached an agreement this Wednesday to extend until next October 31 the so-called “social shield” approved by the Executive in the first months of the pandemic, in 2020, to counteract some of the consequences caused by the health crisis on the most vulnerable groups in society. The package of measures was going to decline on August 9, but the Government has decided to extend it for two more months as a result of the fifth wave of the pandemic, according to sources from Moncloa.

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The “social shield” whose extension will be approved in the Council of Ministers next Tuesday, contemplates different initiatives to alleviate the social emergency generated by the health crisis. It includes, for example, the guarantee of water and energy supply for vulnerable consumers, the extension of the right to the social bonus for certain groups or the suspension of the eviction procedure and of the launches for vulnerable homes with no alternative housing.

In addition, it regulates the extraordinary extension of lease contracts, the extension of the consideration as essential of protection and assistance services for victims of gender-based violence, urgent measures regarding protection and assistance to victims of gender-based violence. or the compatibility of the retirement pension of the professionals who practice medicine and nursing with the performance of their activity, among others.

All these measures, and some more, were extended beyond the validity of the state of alarm. And the month of August was established as the end of this shield given the certainty that the rate of vaccination and the improvement of tourism data would make it unnecessary. But the fifth wave and the uncertainty about the summer campaign make the Government fear that the situations of vulnerability caused by the coronavirus may continue to persist for a few more months.

A “joint work” of the ministries involved

Last week, the Minister of Social Rights and leader of Podemos, Ione Belarra, sent a letter to the rest of the ministries requesting the extension of the “social shield” until the end of the year, although, for now, the agreement reached between the partners of the Government “In a joint and coordinated work between all the ministries involved,” as explained by Moncloa in a brief statement, is that it will remain in force until October, trusting that by then the effect of the vaccination will allow the recovery of normality disturbed for more than a year and means of sanitary emergency.

The Government explains that “the latest conversations carried out between the Ministry of Social Rights and Agenda 2030 and the Ministry of the Presidency, Relations with the Courts and Democratic Memory, have concluded with the agreement” to extend the royal decree law that included all the aforementioned social protection measures.