Zero rate social security for new self-employed workers in the Canary Islands

Zero rate social security for new self-employed workers in the Canary Islands

The President of the Canary Islands, Fernando Clavijo, and the Minister of the Economy, Manuel Domínguez, gave their "full support" on Friday to the more than 139,000 self-employed in the Archipelago to the President of the Association of Autonomo (self-employed) Workers (ATA), Lorenzo Amor. This support will translate into the implementation of a zero rate of social security for new self-employed workers starting on January 1st, 2024.

Following the meeting with national and Canary Island representatives of ATA, Clavijo and Domínguez also announced a 30% reduction in administrative procedures within the Autonomous Community that affect self-employed individuals and the time required to complete them, a measure that will save costs for the collective.

The aim of this specific package of measures, as highlighted by the President of the Canary Islands, is to place self-employed workers "at the centre of the economic policy" of the regional government because "they are the ones creating employment and opening their doors every day."

"Cumbersome administration processes distance people from public services, and for entrepreneurs, it represents a loss of time and money," emphasized Clavijo, reaffirming the government's commitment to "reducing bureaucracy."

In the same vein, the Minister of the Economy, Industry, Commerce, and Self-Employed Workers explained that it is these entrepreneurs "who sustain the economy of the Canary Islands”, and therefore, the government will focus on "working on improvements for them."

Domínguez pointed out that zero contributions for the self-employed are a commitment included in the government's program, but they will have to wait until January 1st of the next year due to budgetary commitments.

The regional government believes that the recent creation of a Directorate-General for Self-Employed Workers is another "clear demonstration" of how the government views this group. This was also acknowledged after the meeting by the national president of ATA, who was accompanied by Canary Island representatives of entrepreneurs, Pedro Andueza and Elliot Martín.

Lorenzo Amor expressed his gratitude to the Canary Islands Government's commitment to self-employed workers, not only with tax relief measures but also with the crucial commitment to reduce administrative procedures. In his view, these policies will help alleviate the difficult situation facing this group, with a 23% increase in their expenses due to inflation and rising interest rates.

According to Social Security data, as of July this year, the Canary Islands have 139,264 self-employed workers, representing 15.8% of the total Social Security contributors in the Archipelago.

Despite being among the hardest hit economically by the pandemic, the island’s self-employed have shown positive trends in recent months, making it the second region in Spain with the highest growth rate (2.1%), with 3,000 new registrations in the last twelve months. This increase is particularly significant among women, where the number of female entrepreneurs has increased by 30% more than among men.

In terms of sectors, the vast majority of self-employed people in the Canary Islands work in services due to the significant weight of tourism in the economy (81.1% of the total), compared to 10.9% in construction, 4.3% in agriculture, and 3.6% in industry.

The profile of entrepreneurs in the Archipelago also highlights that three out of every four (75%) do not have employees, while 23.4% do have employees under their supervision.