Covid-19: As of this Thursday, exceptional social support may be required for cultural policy

The form for applying for extraordinary social support for cultural workers worth 438.81 euros will be available online from this Thursday, a source from the Lusa Ministry of Culture said today.

The exceptional support for artists, writers, technicians and other cultural workers in a single IAS (Social Support Index) is aimed at independent workers with an Economic Activities Code (CAE) or IRS (CIRS) in the sector.

This support is part of the measures taken to respond to the crisis caused by the restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic announced on January 14 by the Minister of Culture Graça Fonseca.

According to the rules of these measures published on Monday in Diário da República, extraordinary social assistance will be granted “in the order of submission of applications in a single installment to each eligible applicant”.

The request for access to this assistance, made as part of the response to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, must “be submitted electronically by completing and submitting the appropriate form online via the website www.culturaportugal.gov .pt “.

On the day the form will be available, the Assembly of the Republic members will discuss four bills to strengthen or create new measures in support of the cultural sector through the Bloco de Esquerda (BE) of People-Animals-Nature (PAN), which PCP and the unregistered deputy Cristina Rodrigues.

BE advocates, among other things, the “expansion of activities eligible for exceptional social support from culture” and suggests that “the minimum amount of support is 1.5 IAS [Indexante dos Apoios Sociais]”.

The PCP, on the other hand, would like an extension of the extraordinary support in the amount of 1 IAS to “registered employees with main activity” 1519 – Other service providers “, provided that the provision of services focuses on activities of a cultural nature”.

Furthermore, the Communist Party argues that the amount to be allocated should be equal to 1.5 IAS and that it “should be monthly as long as exceptional and temporary measures to respond to the epidemic remain in place”.

Since this social support was announced on January 14th, representative structures of workers have felt that the value is insufficient and that there is again a risk of not reaching all workers.

On Monday, the Plateia – Performing Arts Professionals association was “particularly dissatisfied with what is being presented to cultural workers in relation to the support of 1IAS (438 euros).” For the public, “it is unacceptable that all persons who had an employment contract as of 01/01/2020 (even if they are short-term or part-time) are excluded from this support”.

“The government shows once again that it does not understand what work is like in this sector where work is carried out or accumulated under contract or green receipt. Short-term contracts often do not result in unemployment benefits, so these people do not have access to social protection, just like those who only work on the green receipt, ”he warned.

In addition, “the government has again been unable to respond to cultural workers who are not registered with the now appointed PPAs – as is the case with those who have a PPA for” other services “- and to exclude them again “. This association also defended that “it is urgent that the government clarify whether members of the legal organs of the organs are also excluded from support, which would be tragic”.

The audience argues that it “is incomprehensible that after it became known that this support was cumulative with everyone else [apoios sociais]is now known to be accumulated only with extraordinary assistance in reducing activity. “

The delay with which the measures are implemented was again criticized by the target group, for whom “it is regrettable that this support (as well as the other social supports) will not reach the pockets of those who need it best until March” . “[Havendo] For many people with no income since January or earlier, the delay is unbearable. “

Audiences also recall that when the Minister of Culture announced this social support in January, the sector was not expected to stop in February and March, as it is now. “In view of the extent of the restriction, we do not understand why there is currently no obligation to repeat this support for the months of February and March,” emphasizes the association.