Council of Ministers

The Council of Ministers approves a line of guarantees to facilitate the purchase of first homes

Council of Ministers - 2023.5.9

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Moncloa Palace, Madrid

The Council of Ministers has approved the concession of a line of guarantees from the Official Credit Institute (ICO) for the purchase of the first habitual residence, which will cover up to 20% of mortgage loans for two groups: young people aged up to 35 years, and families with dependent children.

The Minister for Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, Raquel Sánchez, stressed that the measure is aimed at young people and solvent families who have the financial capacity to buy a home, but do not have the necessary savings to pay the down payment. The aim is to facilitate the purchase of approximately 50,000 homes.

Sánchez detailed that the ICO could guarantee up to 25% of the loan principal if the property to be purchased has a minimum energy rating of D or higher. She also clarified that these guarantees will be free of charge for the applicant, who will be able to apply for them until 31 December 2025, with the possibility of a two-year extension.

Applicants, according to the minister, may not exceed the individual income limit of €37.8 billion gross per year, which will be doubled if the home is purchased by two people. This limit will be increased by €2,520 gross per year for each dependent child and, in the case of a single-parent family, it may be increased by an additional 70%.

Promotion of 43,000 affordable rental dwellings

The Minister for Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, Raquel Sánchez, during her speech at the press conference after the Council of Ministers | Pool Moncloa/Borja Puig de la Bellacasa

On housing, the executive has also agreed today on the development of a new €4 billion line of loans to expand the social housing stock, within the framework of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan.

Raquel Sánchez reported that up to 43,000 homes in energy-efficient buildings will be made available to the public, to be rented socially or at affordable prices for a period of at least 50 years.

The loans are aimed at both public and private developers and will finance everything from the acquisition of land for the construction of new housing to the acquisition of buildings for refurbishment, provided they are put up for affordable rent.

20,000 affordable housing units on disused defence land

The government has approved the allocation of more disused Ministry of Defence land for urban development and affordable housing. The Entidad Pública de Suelos (SEPES) will construct 20,000 social or affordable rented housing units on the public land it will acquire from the Ministry of Defence.

The minister, Raquel Sánchez, stressed that this decision will enable the social housing stock to be increased by means of 50 actions distributed in 14 communities and in the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla.

The initiative is part of the Affordable Rental Housing Plan and will make public land available throughout Spain, thus helping to guarantee access to decent housing in a balanced way across the country.

Youth discounts of up to 90% on bus and train tickets

The Council of Ministers has agreed to facilitate travel by public transport for young people aged 18 to 30 this summer, both in Spain and in Europe. To this end, it will grant a 90% discount on tickets for state-run trains and buses, and a 50% discount on high-speed trains and Interrail passes.

The Transport Minister announced that the subsidies are aimed at young Spaniards or young people from the EU, in both cases with legal residence in Spain.

Raquel Sánchez stated that the government has agreed to subsidise Interrail, which is a personal and non-transferable pass for legal residents in Europe, and which allows train travel in 33 European countries, and also to create a specific programme or Interrail to encourage young people to travel in Spain.

The discount will be applied to the price of single or return tickets with a travel date between 15 June and 15 September 2023. Beneficiaries must register on the website of the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda before making their first purchase to check that they meet the requirements.

Sánchez specified that the discounts will be 90% on conventional medium-distance trains and regular buses that depend on the state. On Avant, commercial and high-speed services the discount will be 50%, although in this case up to a maximum of €30 per ticket.

Strengthening the education system

The Council of Ministers has approved five programmes allocated a total of €566 million that aim to improve and reinforce the quality of the education system.

Activities and support staff

The Minister for Education and Vocational Training, Pilar Alegría, during her speech at the press conference after the Council of Ministers | Pool Moncloa/Borja Puig de la Bellacasa

The first of the programmes is PROA+, which has been allocated €118 million to implement activities to support students (both in and out of school hours), tutoring and co-teaching. Pilar Alegría detailed that some 3,000 educational centres will offer this action to support pupils.

Second, €55 million will be invested in the Family and Personal Accompaniment and Guidance Units, consisting of reinforcement staff who accompany students from primary to secondary school.

These two actions, the minister indicated, aim to prevent early school leaving.

Digital training

The third programme approved today, School 4.0, will enable students to be trained in programming, computer language and robotics. Pilar Alegría described it as "pioneering" and "extraordinary", pointing out that it is aimed at 5.5 million students from the second stage of Infant Education (3-6 years) to Secondary Education, and at 17,000 educational centres.

The €298 million investment will enable these schools to be equipped with robotics kits and to hire technical assistants to support teachers, especially in pre-school and primary schools, where there are no robotics specialists.

Improving equity

The minister explained that making education truly inclusive is the goal of the fourth programme, which will distribute €36.6 million among the autonomous communities. The aim is to ensure that not only ordinary education centres, but also special education centres, will have more material and human resources to deal with the diversity present in the classrooms.

The government has also earmarked €58.5 million to be transferred to the autonomous communities to help families buy textbooks and school materials.

Other agreements of the Council of Ministers

The Government Spokesperson and Minister for Territorial Policy, Isabel Rodríguez, during her speech at the press conference after the Council of Ministers | Pool Moncloa/Borja Puig de la Bellacasa

The Council of Ministers has agreed to request the lodging of an appeal of unconstitutionality against an additional provision of the Law of the Community of Madrid 1/23, of 15 February, creating the Madrid Agency for the Support of Adults with Disabilities.

The Minister for Territorial Policy and spokesperson for the government, Isabel Rodríguez, has maintained that the regional regulation violates the Spanish constitution in the competence of procedural regulation and invades the sphere of the state. Rodríguez added that there are formal and material requirements to challenge the law, with the aim of ensuring that people with disabilities do not see any of their rights violated, in accordance with current state regulations.

The government has also created three new foreign cooperation units to consolidate the cultural programme of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation. These are the Spanish cultural centres in the Republic of Guatemala, the Republic of Nicaragua and the Republic of Panama.

For an estimated value of €236 million, the government has also authorised the tender for the works for the construction of the Vial de Jove in Gijón (Asturias). (Asturias), a road to improve access to the port of El Musel.

Non official translation