After an extensive session, with 135 votes in favor and 103 against (with the rejection of Together for Change and Schiaretti), the Income Tax reform was approved that raises the taxable floor to 15 minimum wages for workers in relation to dependency and retirees. Now it must be voted on in the Senate.
He bill who presented the minister-candidate Sergio Massa in Congress takes an old demand of the working class that was denied by the governments of Cristina Kirchner, Mauricio Macri and the Frente de Todos itself, to transform it into a epic attempt just weeks before the October general elections. But rather it is the recognition of a failure: far from the “return of the barbecue”, instead of improving the situation of those at the bottom, the living conditions of the employees who are a little better off have decreased.
The Income Tax on salaries is a tax hated by the working class, which seeks to divide. During the presidency of Cristina Fernandez They wanted to install the idea that workers who were a little better off should be “in solidarity” with those who earn less, instead of affecting the minority of rich people, businessmen, speculators who do business with the needs and work of millions. Mauricio Macri He promised to eliminate the salary tax and ended up incorporating more workers.
But The ruling party’s project that received half a sanction does not exactly eliminate the salary tax, but rather increases the non-taxable minimum for employees and pensions equivalent to the value of 15 minimum salaries (today $1,770,000), so in the immediate future the majority of the working class will practically stop paying the tax (about 90 thousand workers will remain paying). However, if in the coming years the minimum wage is updated behind inflation and the general evolution of wages, many employees can pay again. The minimum, vital and mobile wage is not an index that reflects real evolution, but is agreed upon in the Wage Council with the signature of the union and employer bureaucracies. Since 2015, the purchasing power of the minimum wage has fallen almost 35 pointscurrently it is just $118,000.
Likewise, another of the critical points of the project is that all deductions are eliminated to employees as they exist until now (for example, for dependent children or for the payment of rent), and does not include professionals and small self-employed traders in the increase of the non-taxable floor. The Government announced that it will send a project contemplating this last situation, but so far independent workers are excluded from the modifications and will continue to pay the tax with a much lower floor.
The deputy Myriam Bregman He emphasized that since Left Front it was always maintained that “salary is no earning” and defended the left’s project to directly eliminate the fourth category for contract and retirement employees. In his intervention he exposed the electoral meaning of the proposal by highlighting the brutal loss of purchasing power that salaries have been experiencing under the current government of the Frente de Todos. Informal workers are the ones who have been losing the most in the adjustment agreed with the IMF, their purchasing power has fallen more than 42% since 2016.
From Together for Change, Deputy Luciano Laspina defended the salary tax, denounced that this modification would be “inflationary” and irresponsible because it increases the fiscal deficit and presented a minority opinion rejecting the modifications in Profits for the fourth category. “In a country on the verge of hyperinflation, this is equivalent to issuing a check for $1,250,000 for the 800,000 workers with the highest salaries in Argentina. This shows that it is a concession to the union leaders, a group of leaders that no longer represent workers,” he said. The deputies of this bloc were not heard to express any concern when the tax reduction favors businessmen, “in that case yes: there is no deficit problem, When it is the pocket, the workers have all the desire to take care of the State coffers“, Bregman responded..
At your turn, the self-proclaimed “libertarian liberal” Javier Milei took the opportunity to demand, in a much more moderate tone than usual, a tax cuts for large companies and a cut in public spendingand to especially attack Together for Change: “I remind you that you approved the Budget with a fiscal deficit, which is immoral, you have endorsed the madness of the IMF or you have made laws yourselves such as the Gondolas or Rentals law, which “They are direct attacks on property rights.”
“Unlike the pre-opinionant deputy Javier Milei, We believe that we do have to mess with the bankers, with the cereal companies, with those who have been taking it with a shovel.. He just here outlined a spillover theory That, if you take out taxes and give many concessions to those above, that at some point will spill over and we will all be happy singing on the prairie. It is not like that, there was already a government that maintained that it was Menemism and it sank our country, and the working class came out much worse than it entered those Peronist governments, carried out by Carlos Menem and Cavallo another idol of the pre-opinionating deputy”, The representative and candidate for president Myriam Bregman did not take long to rebuke him..
While the session was taking place in Deputies, outside the premises there was a movement of the union table “Salary is not profit”, which is made up of different unions aligned with the ruling party from both the CGT as of the CTA. An attitude that coincides with that taken by the main leaders of both centers, who accompanied Massa in the project announcement while They have been letting go of all the adjustment measures and attacks on salaries.
The discussion of the salary tax is crossed by the current policy of the Government, and in particular of Massa, who seeks with these measures to hide the adjustment that is being carried out and thus somewhat reverse the loss of votes. Likewise, they remove from the discussion the adjustment that they plan to apply again next year to comply with the Fund and debt payments. In the project of Budget 2024 They are already advancing another strong cut in social items, Health, Environment, Culture, Women, among others.
In August the average inflation rate reached the historic increase of 12.4% monthly, a massacre to the salaries and living conditions of the working class. While the Government directed the entire economy to comply with the IMF by validating Macri’s odious debt, The workers transferred about US$ 70,000 million to big capital, according to the CIFRA Center. which is added to another US$31,000 million transferred during the Macri administration.
It is necessary to kick the board that favors the business class, in which there is no difference between Bullrich, Milei or Massa in paying the IMF. The left proposes an opposite path: reduce the working day to 6 hours and distribute the working hours to unite the working class between those who today have a job with rights and those who do not have it to create 1.2 million jobs. of work with rights, reject the adjustment and the agreement with the IMF.