Political flak has started flying over the issue of what's known as the "programa prepara".
Plan prepara is an unemployment subsidy , a plan created in February 2011 by the previous socialist government, and is not part of the regular unemployment payments scheme. It is, essentially, a financial support line for those who have exhausted all other state benefits available for unemployment and gives a 400 euro a month subsidy for 6 months, providing those who receive it commit to undertaking courses for some sort of professional training.
The aim of the scheme was to help those who are struggling to find employment gain some sort of formative training which would increase their chances of finding work.
However, this week the Unions have said that the plan will cease on the 15th August and although those who are currently receiving the subsidies will be able to complete their 6 month period, no new inscriptions will be accepted from 15th August and once the courses finish, no more money is being made available for this scheme.
The reason being given is that the scheme is failing to achieve its objective of training workers to find work, and according to official statistics, less than 6% of the 400,000 unemployed who have received the subsidy have managed to obtain any sort of work since it began.
The quality of the courses, has, according to the unions, declined during the last year , due to lack of funding for the project, with the result that those seeking work are gaining very little of real benefit from their attendance.
In Murcia, there are 17,000 unemployed currently receiving this allowance and signed up for training courses.
Predictably, the Unions and PSOE socialist opposition party have released a number of press releases, angry that the Prime Minister is on holiday and is unavailable to answer their demands for answers about what will replace the scheme, if anything.
They are keen to point out that there are now nearly 1.800.000 unemployed who have exhausted their entitlement to unemployment benefits
The PSOE yesterday said that, " whilst the government refuses to put up taxes for the wealthy, they impose a greater burden on the unemployed and those who have less, the PP are mistreating the unemployed."
The biggest problem facing the government is lack of jobs available ,and nervousness amongst businesses who could realistically create employment about issuing contracts which bind them into restrictive employment conditions.
The incentive to become self-employed is diminished by the ridiculously high burden of social payments workers have to bear before they even start to earn any money, a self-employed individual having to fork out 240 euros a month in social payments plus an average of 60 for an accountant, meaning they pay out 300 euros before they even start incurring the costs of financing a vehicle, paying insurance, fuel, advertising, premises, phone, printing and the million other costs which it takes to actually run a business.
Which is why the black economy is flourishing. 1.8 million unemployed, some of whom are working on the black, self-employed signing off from their social payments and continuing to work and businesses frightened to take on workers they can´t get rid of.
Where does it all end?
Never mind a campaign to support local businesses, how about a campaign to support local, LEGAL businesses!
Will he give you a legal invoice which guarantees your consumer rights are protected, your kids get an education and your hospitals have sufficient funds to carry out that operation you need? Or would you rather save 15 euros now and wait 6 months for your operation as the Health Service is underfunded?
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