The Minister of Labour, Yolanda Díaz, said today that it causes her "enormous sadness" that members of the Government "talk about subsidising the unemployed", in relation to their disagreements with the Ministry of Economy regarding the reform of unemployment benefits.

Díaz added, after meeting with environmental organisations, that he is "surprised to hear a member of the government say that cutting unemployment benefits will create 350,000 jobs in Spain", in relation to an interview published this Saturday by El País with the Secretary of State for Economy, Gonzalo García Andrés.

"This is not true and it is not scientific," emphasized the Minister of Labor, who in recent days has expressed her differences of opinion on this matter also with the Minister of Economy, Nadia Calviño.

Díaz said that the statements of some members of the government remind him of "the language of the right wing of the PP, which said that people are unemployed because they want to be unemployed".

The minister stressed that "we do not share at all the neoliberal logics of the right" and assured that she will comply with her commitment.

Sources from the Ministry of Labour and Economy have insisted this week that there will be "no way" cuts in the reform of the unemployment assistance subsidy, despite the fact that the Ministry of Economy has tried to adjust downwards.

This fight within the coalition government has delayed this reform for more than a year. Díaz insisted that "not only are we not going to cut the benefit, but we are going to improve it".

The Ministry of Labour is proposing a reform of the unemployment benefit that increases its amount at the beginning to 660 euros per month, to return it to the current level (480 euros) after a year, improves coverage and allows it to continue receiving it for 45 days after starting a job.

Labour denies that the proposals of theMinistry of Economy that involve reducing the collection time from 30 to 12 months and cutting its amount to an average of 442.5 euros per month during that year (600 euros in the first quarter, 480 euros in the second, 390 euros in the third and 300 euros in the fourth) are going to go ahead.

In relation to the unemployment data for the last month that will be made public next Monday, Yolanda Díaz has said that she cannot give any details on this matter, although she has declared that "they are good".

Asked about the negotiations with employers and unions on the minimum interprofessional wage (SMI), the Minister of Labour was "optimistic" and considered that "there is room to reach an agreement" after learning that employers are willing to increase by 3% and the union side is demanding an increase above 5% "when the CPI has closed this year at 3.8%"