Economy The Government approves with two months of delay a...

The Government approves with two months of delay a rescue to the hotel industry without direct aid

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Above all, it includes measures to reduce business fixed expenses, tax deductions and labor costs with an impact of 4,220 million

The Government has approved this Tuesday, almost two months after its announcement, a rescue plan for hotels and businesses that aims to alleviate the critical situation these businesses are experiencing due to the impact of the pandemic, but which these sectors consider insufficient because there is no direct aid, which was what they asked for.

The package, presented to the Council of Ministers by the Minister Spokesperson and Minister of Finance, MarÃa Jesús Montero, and detailed later by the head of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, contemplates measures so that businesses can reduce the payment of 50% of the rent of the premises (the star measure), liquidity measures and tax discounts for that the owners of these properties renegotiate the rents with their tenants.

The measures are grouped into five blocks and seek to reduce the costs of companies, give them liquidity so that they can face their payments, alleviate their tax burden with tax reductions or postpone payment of the same. The impact of these savings is estimated at 4,220 million euros, as announced by the Minister Spokesperson, MarÃa Jesús Montero.

Five blocks

Within the first block, the star measure allows hoteliers and merchants to cut half their rent during the state of alarm (until May) as long as the rented premises belong to a large owner (with more than 10 properties) and the latter has not already negotiated a sale with the hotelier.

These businesses They may also request a moratorium on payment of the rent, within the same period and without interest, but this money would have to be repaid in the following two years. According to the Executive, 190,000 hospitality or retail companies could benefit from this measure.

The hotel management association (HostelerÃa de Espaà ± a) estimates that it will only benefit between 3% and 5% of the businesses. Maroto put it at 12%, but it included commerce. The Spanish Confederation of Commerce (CEC) has also considered this package of measures insufficient, as they consider that “although some are aimed at providing liquidity to businesses, they are considering facing a debt” that supposes long-term charge to business. Bread for today, but hunger for tomorrow.

Tax incentives

The decree also contains tax incentives for small owners (with less than 10 premises) who host a hotel or business premises and agree to renegotiate their rents in the months of January and March. They may charge the reduction made as a deductible expense in personal income tax.

This, says Montero, will allow a potential savings for businesses (in rents that they will not have to pay) of 324 million euros.  «In this way what we are trying to do is to encourage rebates or reimbursements», stated Reyes Maroto. His department estimates that this measure affects more than 300,000 potential beneficiaries.

“What we demanded was direct aid and the plan falls short, but in this situation of ruin, anyone is welcome,” says Josà © Luis Yzuel, president of HostelerÃa de Espaà ± a, which encompasses more than 300,000 establishments in the country. The sector requested a rescue plan from the German company (the state pays 65% of the lost billing to establishments) or the French one (each closed business will receive 10,000 euros).

Expected plan

The Government of Spain is not an administration that can give a check to the thousands of businesses in our country. This plan is the Executive’s way of giving this check, “Montero has justified.

Approved measures include that travel agencies can use the financing endorsed by the ICO for the refund of money to customers who purchased package tours and were canceled due to the pandemic.

The sector has been claiming direct aid for a long time to avoid the closure of one of every three establishments that are currently in a borderline situation. They say that businesses, especially in tourist areas, are at the limit, since they have been supporting expenses for months and with hardly any income, or with a minimal turnover.

The government announced this plan almost two months ago, but its approval has been delayed due to disagreement between the different economic ministries involved. Industry, Commerce and Industry and Labor defended the urgency of these measures, while Finance and Economic Affairs were in favor of specifying and refining the recipients of these measures a little more.

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