Approved by Cabinet €30.5 billion that will go towards paying pensions as well as unemployment benefits and subsidies


The Cabinet has approved an extraordinary outlay of €30.5 billion that will go towards paying pensions as well as unemployment benefits and subsidies.

Finance Minister María Jesús Montero said the new guaranteed minimum income scheme, meant to help households at risk of poverty,  will be approved on Friday.

Around 950,000 people had been laid off by late April due to the coronavirus pandemic, while 3.4 million had been placed on the furlough scheme known as ERTE.

Another 1.4 million self-employed workers have filed for government aid after being forced to shut down their businesses.

Montero says Spain will seek the highest amount possible in transfers from the European Union’s coronavirus emergency funds.

The European Commission will propose it’s blueprint for the 27-nation bloc’s budget today, known as the Multiannual Financial Framework and worth around a trillion euros, and the accompanying coronavirus Recovery Fund.

The Health Ministry has defended changes to its methodology for recording coronavirus data that have led to wild fluctuations in daily statistics and provoked sharp criticism by opposition parties.

On Monday the government revised down the country’s overall death toll from the epidemic by nearly 2,000 and while yesterday’s reported cumulative toll of 27,117 was 283 higher than Monday’s, the ministry said just 35 people had died from the disease over the previous seven days.

Health Emergency Coordinator Fernando Simon said process is going to continue for several days and attributed the differences to old cases, which were included retrospectively as authorities adjust to a new tracking system and check back over historical data provided by regions.

Confirmed cases of the virus rose by 859 to 236,259.

Government spokeswoman Maria Jesus Montero said adjusting the methodology could distort statistical analyses, but that the new system was necessary to track the disease’s progress through the population.

Pablo Casado, leader of the main conservative opposition Partido Popular, accused the government of hiding the true death toll and said the tweaking showed “an intolerable lack of respect.”