With inflation in Spain at its highest rate in four decades, many of the 3.1 million self-employed people working in Spain have increased their rates in order to try and make up the difference and stay afloat financially.
In fact, according to data from the official ATA barometer for May 2022, well over half (57.3 percent) have already upped the prices of their products and services.
Spain’s Association of Self-Employed Workers (ATA)’s survey reveals how many self-employed workers have been forced to do so in order to recoup some of the losses they have suffered due to increased costs that have come as a result of the war in Ukraine.
And the trend looks set to continue, as 80 percent of autónomos surveyed said their businesses have been “fairly” or “very” affected by rising inflation.
The price rise that’s impacted businesses in Spain most is that of electricity (70 percent affected), followed by raw material and petrol price increases, affecting around 42 percent of those surveyed.
This comes as many self-employed workers are still trying to recover from the loss of earnings brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, with 66 percent of respondents stating they have yet to recover those losses. Half of those fear they won’t recoup the difference from losses during the pandemic until 2023.
It’s been a very tough couple of years for self-employed people in Spain, and the possibility of an increase of their tax rates from next year onwards is worrying many, even though nothing has been officially approved yet.
In fact, the ATA barometer reveals that almost half of those interviewed would rather not be self-employed again. In fact, one in five who have deregistered said they would “never” be autónomos again.
Nine out of ten self-employed workers surveyed also consider that they are not socially valued and that Spanish society is not aware of the importance of what they contribute to the country.
Inflation has also kneecapped autónomos‘ job creation capabilities, with only 7 percent of autónomos in Spain expecting to generate work, as opposed to 150,000 who plan to cut staff.
The situation has become so precarious for some self-employed workers that many have been forced to rely on help from the state.
The ATA reports that over half (55 percent) of self-employed workers have received some kind of government aid, whether national, regional, or local, and in the last two years over a million have requested financing and taken out loans to stay afloat financially.
In this context of an almost 40-year high inflation rate of 9.8 percent, raw material and fuel prices skyrocketing and an overall rise in pretty much all other living costs, it’s only logical that autónomos should raise their rates accordingly.