The Government has promised to approve before August 2 a new royal decree law that will contain the regulations to apply to carriers the same principles that govern the law of the food chain and guarantee that they do not work below costs, that is, with losses . This was announced this Thursday by the Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, Raquel Sánchez, at a press conference, in which she also explained that the Executive will approve another package of direct aid to the sector worth 450 million euros .
In this way, and although the minister has not expressly mentioned it, the Government is trying to deactivate the strike with which the Platform for the Defense of the Transport of Goods, which brings together self-employed drivers and truckers with small fleets, and whose main claim It was precisely that the Executive urgently approved a decree to prevent businessmen from imposing freight below costs.
The new legal text will include provisions to ensure that the price of transport is equal to or greater than the costs incurred by the carrier, in those cases in which the greatest imbalances in this matter currently occur. Likewise, it will require, as requested by the Platform, that the contracts be in writing and will apply limitations to subcontracting in the sector.
As for the new package of measures of 450 million euros, it is a replica of the aid that was approved at the end of March, with direct payments of 1,200 euros per truck, 950 euros per bus, 500 euros per van and 300 euros for ambulances, taxis and rental vehicles with driver (VTC).
The Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, Raquel Sánchez, has indicated that in this way the commitments with the transport of goods are fulfilled “to guarantee that carriers can work for a fair price”. “We agree with the sector that this measure cannot wait and I announce that we are going to process it urgently in the form of a Royal Decree-law for its next approval by the Council of Ministers before August 2,” Sánchez explained at a press conference. press after the meeting held with the National Road Transport Committee (CNTC), the body that represents the majority associations in the sector, and in which the Platform is not present.
The Platform is the organization that called the freight transport stoppages last March, which lasted 20 days and caused problems in the supply chains. The veiled threat of a new truckers’ strike fueled by this organization had raised alarm in the food and distribution industry, warning that if the truckers stopped again, prices would skyrocket even more, there would be shortages and it would take weeks to get back to normal.
For this reason, the CNTC, despite not supporting the strikes, asked the Ministry to speed up the approval and entry into force of the measures given the deterioration of the situation and the rise in costs due to the increase in fuel prices.
“The Government once again expresses its commitment to an essential sector, adopting new structural measures to guarantee its sustainability and correct existing asymmetries, and with temporary measures related to the situation arising from the war in Ukraine and its effects on the transport sector” , explained the minister.
“In this scenario, we understand it is necessary to continue adopting measures to protect citizens and our companies. Because exceptional times like the ones we are experiencing require exceptional measures to combat rising prices, reduce our energy dependence, facilitate the ecological transition and protect the middle and working classes”, Sánchez defended.
Direct aid to the sector
In parallel to the structural measures, the Royal Decree-law enables a new call for direct aid for transport companies, in line with those included in the Royal Decree-law of March 29 last. Thus, the aforementioned credit of some 450 million euros will be approved to help the sector alleviate the negative effects of the energy crisis due to its high dependence on fuel prices. The first edition received 140,000 requests for help.
Likewise, an authorization will be introduced so that all those administrations that so wish, in order to guarantee the provision of transport services, can carry out a rebalancing of their bus transport contracts in order to compensate for the extraordinary costs that the increase in the price of fuel has originated in these contracts, applicable both to those that provide urban or interurban collective transport services and to those related to transport for school use or medical transport.
In the case of the Ministry’s area of competence, a specific methodology and item will also be enabled to carry out this rebalancing during the first half of this year, as well as a forecast of a new rebalancing if the fuel price situation continues in the second half. .
The new package of direct aid to the sector, included in the Royal Decree-law of support for transport that seeks to guarantee a fair price, is added to the measures already included in the Royal Decree of last March 1 and which allocated 1,000 million euros for this strategic activity, including the direct aid of 20 cents per liter of gasoline, which has been extended until December 31, to immediately mitigate the rise in fuel prices.