Pandemic impact is uneven
The economic impact of the coronavirus is grossly uneven, as recent data show that pensioners, civil servants and a significant number of private sector workers have seen little if any effect on their incomes from the drop in economic activity in recent months.
In contrast, thousands of full-time and part-time workers, as well as freelancers working in sectors such as tourism and catering, have lost their livelihoods entirely or seen their earnings plummet by as much as 70%.
Addressing this gap, the government plans to ensure that a good chunk of a 4.5-billion-euro injection being planned to bolster the economy is directed to more “sensitive” sectors.
To this end, the third round of returns of pre-paid taxes will include freelance professionals who do not use a cash register or employ staff but can demonstrate a steep drop in June and July earnings. In the second round of returns, which is expected to take place in the days ahead, an estimated €1 billion will be distributed among suffering businesses.
The fourth round, which will take late summer earnings into account, will prioritize seasonal businesses.