Nacho Alvarez (Sumar): “If the PP and Vox communities fail to comply with the housing law, they will have to be protected”



The greatest teacher of Yolanda Diaz in this legislature as head of the Ministry of Labor and Social Economy was without a doubt repair work. Now, as Sumar’s presidential candidate in the 23-year election, she is proposing to go ahead and reduce working hours to a 32-hour week without that meaning lower salaries. Nacho Álvarez (Madrid, 1977), economic spokesman for the party, details the proposal and the challenges they will face in the next legislature.

Ask: After labor reform, do you think there are some loose ends left?

Answer: The main challenge is reconciliation. That’s why we suggested a reduced working day that allows you to leave an hour earlier.

F: How could something like this be negotiated with the employer?

R: It is a phased path. In 2024, the law will approve the reduction of the working day to 37 and a half hours for everyone, the day that all public servants in this country have been working for decades. From there, it will be discussed within the framework of the social dialogue to advance the reduction, which at the end of the Legislative Council will amount to 32 hours a week.

F: Aren’t you afraid that this will have consequences for employment and wages?

R: The proposal does not mean giving up the salary. Productivity has grown tremendously in our country over the past few decades, however, the growth has not been divided between income from labor and income from capital. It’s time for this to happen.

F: Is 7% structural unemployment viable, as they suggest?

R: We think so. Although we need a new industrial policy for this. In this election you have to choose between two models: the Yolanda Diaz model or the Popular Party model. The first is committed to protecting against segregation, while the second encourages segregation in times of crisis.

F: the The Housing Code runs the risk of becoming ineffective. What ways are you considering to ensure compliance?

R: If the PP and VOX communities declare their default on this rule, the corresponding legislative amendment must be secured in the next legislature to enforce compliance with it.

F: This week there have been several evictions from vulture fund homes. Is there a loose margin in the law?

R: The law puts in our hands, for the first time in 40 years of democracy, a tool that must be developed now. The fact is that the independent communities of PP and VOX have already declared themselves in absentia before the law, but we must ensure their compliance and implementation to regulate the rental price, to develop a public park for social rental housing and also to protect families against evictions. Part of this protection depends on the communities. As for the rest of the cases, now is the time to develop them in greater depth.

F: Why isn’t Sumar included in the anti-colonial programme?

R: When the right does not have the ability to offer alternatives in terms of housing, it resorts to rising to the category of ridicule with some objective problems, but of a smaller dimension. Our country has more than 26 million homes and we have about 2,500 lawsuits per year due to squatting. In fact, they have been reduced by 20% in the past two years. I don’t deny the problem, but I think the right used it entirely in an electoral and caring way.

F: But it seems to be a problem that worries the public.

R: Certainly it is necessary to explain this reality better, but I think that the citizens of our country understand what the hijacked far right means.

F: Spain faces in 2024 return to tax rules. What does Sumar suggest?

R: Deficit reduction must continue, with growth and investment. The coalition government managed to achieve this by six points of GDP in just two years. Faster than the Mariano Rajoy government did. And it did so not only without any cuts, but also by strengthening the dynamics of economic growth, thus facilitating the re-absorption of the deficit and the stabilization of public finances thanks to this growth.

F: Is there room now because growth is slowing?

R: The austerity of 10 years ago has proven to be a failed course, and flexibility within the framework of fiscal rules during the pandemic has allowed for progress to be made in stabilization. It is essential that fiscal rules consider recession so that countries have the ability to make predictable policy. We must remove some investments from the account of fiscal and deficit rules, such as green investments, education investments, or in R+D+i.

F: They propose tax increases for High-income companies and large corporations. What will be the new sections of the IRPF?

R: It would be necessary to see them in government, but the program is already making progress on some related issues such as the need to close the duplication that exists between income from labor and income from capital, so that the latter is more taxed.

F: How much revenue is expected to increase?

R: We are not giving numbers because we will have to finish negotiating with partners, but our goal is to bridge the financial gap we have with Europe.

F: Minister Montero has already closed the reform.

R: In this legislature, the first steps were taken to rebalance efforts. But there is a way. We have passed extraordinary tax legislation to avoid unexpected benefits for energy and banking. Also a tax on large wealth. At the same time, we have reduced taxes for small and medium-sized businesses. These efforts must be complemented by deeper tax reform, which the SWP did not wish to address.

F: I’ve asked a lot about it Income tax contraction who raises PP.

R: The financial proposal of PP is esoteric and is not always perceived as such. A rate cut would mean a reduction of 40 or 50 euros per year for each taxpayer, while a reduction in the exempt minimum raised by the coalition for incomes of less than 21,000 euros would mean cuts of between 400 and 500 euros. Taxpayers understand that we have tightened taxes for large business groups and reduced them by two points for small and medium-sized businesses. That we have strengthened it for the highest income from capital and reduced it for the lowest income from labor. This rebalancing effort is real and citizens are aware of it.

F: And it really works Business Margin Monitor. What now?

R: It is a tool that will allow us to see the evolution it is making excessive benefits Which is taking place in some sectors and that has an impact on inflation as a second round mechanism. Therefore, they will allow us to advance the social dialogue towards a more balanced distribution of income, which is what we need at this time.

F: Should this division begin with oligopoly?

R: We have an oligopoly that captures part of the income that should go to other companies or to society as a whole, and therefore it is necessary to provide CNMC with more tools and strengthen competition policy that will ensure that these monopolies lose weight.

F: and he?

R: The energy sector is perhaps the best example of this. It is astonishing to me that our country’s liberal tradition has so completely abandoned the defense of real competition politics and assumes oligopoly as an inherent reality of economics. We suggest that, for example in the energy sector, production companies cannot be part of the same group of distributors.

F: How is that done?

R: Through a law similar to the antitrust regulations already in place in the United States that facilitate separation, vertical integration of the business group is avoided. These large oligopolies must be dismantled.

F: Pensions are back. Aside from the re-evaluation, is there a problem with the sustainability of the system?

R: In the past few days the debate has heated up. Feijóo’s lies aim to hide a truth. The People’s Party carried out a reform that decoupled pension growth from the consumer price index. The coalition government changed its approach and instituted a reform that relinks its rise to the consumer price index and, in order to make this sustainable, increases social security income as business contributions increase due to higher wages.

F: Why Universal inheritance does not discriminate according to income?

R: Because they ensure that they are effective, and that everyone who needs them can actually get them. We already have other benefits of a global nature, such as pensions and healthcare, and we don’t require anyone to run their income statement in the operating room. What is important is that it is funded gradually and that the families who have the most assets, in addition to receiving them, contribute the most.

F: Can a government headed by Yolanda Diaz make Nadia Calvino the position of Minister of Economy?

R: With the presidency of Yolanda Diaz, the Ministry of Economy will be in the hands of someone from Sumar.

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