NEW freelancers in Spain got a nasty surprise this week, when they were charged an extra €220 by the Social Security system.
Thousands of new autonomos, as the self-employed are known in Spanish, were subject to the full quota of nearly €300 instead of the reduced rate that they should have enjoyed of €80.
Sources from the Social Security Ministry, which is headed up by Socialist Party politician Jose Luis Escriva, told Spanish daily El Pais that the amounts would be returned and stated that the incident had not been widespread.
According to the same sources, the extra charge was applied to around 8,000 autonomos who signed up to the system for the first time between January 1 and 9. They are likely to receive the funds back in March.
There are a total of 3.5 million self-employed workers in Spain.