Minister Sergio Massa announced this Sunday various economic measures. He did it through his social networks. The Unión por la Patria candidate presented it as the beginning of the “Program to Strengthen Economic Activity and Income for Argentine families.”
In recent months, a strong blow to the pocket of the working people has deepened. We are experiencing inflation that will largely exceed 10% in August, after being boosted by the devaluation that Massa himself announced the day after the PASO. The social crisis is felt in the neighborhoods, on the streets and was even the background to the looting of the previous week. It was also felt in the strong defeat of the ruling Peronism. However, the measures announced by Massa are far from “strengthening the income of Argentine families”, and also continue to benefit businessmen who adjust and remark.
Let’s do a first and quick tour of what was announced.
-Bonus for retirees. “In the months of September, October and November they will charge a booster of 37,000 pesos.” With the exceptional sum of 124,000 pesos, retirees will be left with half the cost of the total basic basket. The sum will only be during the electoral campaign. Meanwhile, in September the value of the minimum retirement will be $ 87,460.40. Retirees lost 30% of purchasing power only during the management of the Frente de Todos, with this palliative they are far from recovering the lost
– Fixed sum for workers. They are $60,000, with two monthly installments of 30,000, non-remunerative and one-time. It will also be absorbable by parities that occur during this period. It is for those who are in a dependency relationship, both in the private and public sectors, and earn less than 400,000. The 30,000 pesos per month are very short if we take into account the loss of purchasing power in recent months. Today 70% of workers and workers do not get to cover the INDEC family basket. Nor will it do so with this one-time bonus.
But above all, it leaves aside the millions of informal workers, who work without registering or with junk contracts. This sector lost 25% of real wages in recent years. It only made limited announcements for some categories of monotributistas and beneficiaries of the Food Card.
– Add reinforcement for workers in private homes. The sum will be even less: 25,000 pesos in a single time and in proportion to the hours worked. It is a sector where the vast majority of women work and in the informal sector. In other words, with this “minor” bonus they will be discriminated against again.
-Enhancing Work. Massa announced a “reinforcement of $20,000 for the beneficiaries of the program that will be paid $10,000 during the month of September and $10,000 during the month of October.” In other words, only 10,000 pesos a month, when social organizations have been denouncing that the amount of the program has lost 45% of its purchasing power, in line with the drop in the minimum wage.
-Monotrobutists. Massa announced that “we made the decision that monotributistas A, B, C and D do not pay the tax component for 6 months.” These are the lowest categories that have annual income of between 1 and 2.5 million pesos. In addition, “it was established that “all monotributistas have access to a credit program guaranteed by the State”. Let us remember that under the figure of the monotributo many companies make their workers precarious. That is why it is one of the forms of employment that has most grown in this government.The measure is minimal relief from the loss of income from this sector.
-Beneficiaries of the Food Card. Massa announced that “we are going to reinforce the food card with an additional increase in two monthly installments: families with one child: $10,000, with two children: $17,000, with three children: $23,000. With the increase in food, which in some cases reached 70% (meat) and also in other products, the amount is absolutely insufficient in a country where 6 out of 10 boys and girls are poor and many have had to change their habits. food due to lack of income.
Strong benefits for companies
While it is late and insufficient for the working people, the Strengthening program includes many measures for the business sectors that have been gaining in the midst of the crisis.
Among them there will be “0% withholding for regional economies with industrial added value such as wine, must, rice, tobacco, forestry, among others. In addition, a new wheat and corn planting program with delivery of up to 5 TN of fertilizers for producers in an agricultural emergency”. It also confirms the continuity of the “Bridge to Employment” program for the agricultural sector, which subsidizes agricultural employers and encourages precariousness, allowing them to take social programs (Potenciar Trabajo) as part of their salary.
The program includes a “new program of 770 million dollars for export pre-financing: 550 million dollars from Banco Nación and 220 million dollars from BICE. The objective is that companies have all the tools to continue increasing the volume of exports and accumulate reserves. A millionaire supports the large exporters, in exchange for them bringing dollars to continue paying the fraudulent debt with the IMF.
New Program to Strengthen Economic Activity and Income for Argentine families. pic.twitter.com/B0J1oliWQZ
— Sergio Massa (@SergioMassa) August 27, 2023
A price agreement after remarks and rates
Large companies have not stopped remarking prices in recent months. After the devaluation, the values of many essential products skyrocketed. This is why the “price agreement” seems like a bad joke. Massa announced a “5% path with more than 400 companies that represent 50,000 hygiene products and basic food items from the basket of Argentines. Zero increase in fuels and medicines until November 1.”
But it will also be with favors for the “price makers”: a benefit of 6% of the total taxes paid by the companies in the VAT discount and the income tax of each of these companies.
The figure is not only insufficient in the midst of the strong social and economic crisis, but it also comes after a slap to the popular pocket. It is as if they take 20% of your income one week and “return” you 10 as if it were an increase. Even well below what even the union leaders had been pointing out to the government, who spoke of sums of 100,000 pesos although they did nothing to impose them or reopen the parities. Now the CGT quickly issued a statement where it states its “support for the measures announced by Massa”, it assures that “they are on the path of a present State” and “they ratify their support for the minister.”
Freedom Advances as Together for Change, with its candidates Milei and Bullrich, have already shown that they agree to continue (and even deepen) the adjustment agreed with the IMF.
The Unity Left Front, with the candidacies of Myriam Bregman and Nicolás del Caño, is the only force that rejects him. In the last ones, he issued a statement where he demands emergency measures for salaries, retirements and social programs. But from the left they also demand measures for the millions of informal workers, with the implementation of an “Emergency Income for informal and monotributist workers of the lowest categories.” It also proposes measures to end speculation by food companies, banks and agro-export companies.
For that, it raises the need for assemblies and mobilizations that impose an urgent plan of struggle and a national strike on the leaders of the CGT, the CTA and social organizations to face this social crisis.
Here we leave you all the proposals of the PTS in the Left Front.