From Monday May 1st, 5.385.522 of households they will not have any more subsidies of any kind in the electricity and gas services. In the case of gas, this reduction took place at the end of last year, while in the case of electricity, it will take effect from next month and in June the flat rate bills will arrive. Therefore, with increases.
He official announcement was carried out a few days ago by the Secretary of Energy, Flavia Royonduring an exhibition at the Meeting Idea Energy 2023, who admitted that the increase “for the high-income sector and those who do not request the subsidy may have an increase of between 90% and 100%“.
the universe of affected households It is made up of two groups. On the one hand, those who belong to the higher income sector for exceeding the value of 3.5 basic baskets ($669,298) and on the other hand, those who were not noted on the RASE form (Light and Gas Subsidy Registry), launched by the Government last year and used as a basis for applying the famous tariff “segmentation”.
the rise of tariffs was and is one of the demands of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). When Martín Guzmán was still in charge of the Economy portfolio, this plan for staggered increases was designed, through which the national government sought to satisfy the requests for the removal of subsidies from the international organization.
Guzmán left, the segmentation stayed and it was up to Royón, among other officials, to execute the implementation. Such implementation depends on household income and their level of consumption. The levels established by income are three:
– Higher earnings: households with income greater than 3.5 basic baskets.
– Average income: households with income between 1 basket and 3.5 basic baskets.
– Low incomes: households with social rate and income less than 1 basic basket.
At that time, from the Energy portfolio, it was estimated that only 10% of all electric power users would lose all subsidies and would face high increases, such as those applied now. However, this estimate was not met. And that is precisely what consumer organizations like DE.U.CO (Organization of Users and Consumers).
Said organization expressed in a document that, based on official data as of March 31, Of the universe of households that must pay a flat rate, a minority corresponds to the highest-income sectors, while the vast majority will face this expense because they have not entered the RASE form.. We are talking about 981.521 contra 4.404.001.
How was arrive to this situation? Why do households that do not have enough income have to face increases that are impossible to pay? Because in resolution 661/2022 it was established that “it must be granted to users of electricity and gas by network that are not identified in the reported register as corresponding to levels 2 or 3, for the billing cycle that is concerned, the treatment corresponding to high-income residential users (level 1)”.
It materialized what, from the moment the segmentation was announced, was denounced from many consumer defense organizations, and also from this half: the compulsory entry into the high-income group of those who could not comply with this administrative procedure for not having access to the internet, for living in remote areas, for not being aware, or whatever. It must also be said that within the framework of the crisis we are experiencing and a daily deterioration in the purchasing power of salaries and pensions, this increase will have a strong impact on those more than 4 million households, of which the vast majority surely cannot cope with such increases.
Outside, from that group it was also announced that there will be increases of between 15% and 50% for registered users in the middle income sector.
The Fund insists, the Government complies
Last Monday, April 4, the FMI published a detailed document on the results of the fourth review of the agreement with Argentina where they insisted on the issue again tariffs by demanding the total removal of subsidies to users grouped in the high-income level immediately. Barely 20 days later, Royón’s announcement arrived.
We are facing a complicated social landscape. A accelerating social crisis and that, as always happens, hits hardest the working and popular majorities that live on wages and incomes that are well below inflation. In this contextthese new raises add fuel to the fire.
Faced with the extreme passivity of the union bureaucracy that allowed the adjustment to reach this point, it is necessary that the anger and social unrest that are expressed from below in sectors that come out to fight be organized in order to impose a crisis emergency program that is favorable to the working class and the people.