The Spanish government has unveiled a package of emergency economic measures worth 6 billion euros in direct aid and 10 billion Euros in loans for families and businesses affected by the fallout from the steep rise in inflation, particularly fuel and energy which has been exasperated by Russia´s invasion of Ukraine.
The Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez made the announcement yesterday, Monday 28th to a business forum at the El Beatriz Auditorium in Madrid.
He told the delegates that the emergency plan aims to “protect economic growth and jobs” and “includes a set of measures that will protect economic sectors and Spaniards who are being most affected.”
The move is an attempt to deal with the growing wave of social unrest over spiralling inflation and rising prices which has been the root cause of the present haulage strike that started on 14th March, and which has brought widespread disruption to supply chains including basic food items.
Fishermen and farmers have also been protesting rising costs.
Sánchez said the coalition Socialist government plans “exceptional, temporary measures,” including price caps for natural gas, that will “significantly and immediately” push down electricity prices which have rocketed over the last 12 months.
In addition, the government will implement a 20-cent cut in duty per litre of petrol.
Of that reduction, 15 cents will be financed by the government and five cents by the oil companies.
The average price of a litre of petrol is between €1.86 and €1.98 per litre.
Last year, the government reduced the VAT applicable on electricity from 21% to 10%
The government will also limit household rent increases to a maximum of 2% as well as a 15% increase in support for utility bills for vulnerable families.
The measures will remain in force until 30th June.
Last month’s inflation rate of 7.6% was the highest in over 30 years.