Massa announced three bonuses of $37,000 for retirees, in the first of a series of measures to offset the effects of the devaluation
The Minister of Economy and presidential candidate for the ruling party, Sergio Massa, today began a week of announcements to control the impact of the post-PASO devaluation.
In a message on Instagram, the minister said that "throughout today" they will announce "the measures we take to care for Argentine families."
Massa said that the recent devaluation -which he attributed to the loan taken in 2018 by the Macri government-, added to a drought that affected reserves and public accounts, "hit the economy of many families."
The minister said that SMEs, workers, monotributistas, retirees and sectors of the social economy will be compensated for the damage caused by the devaluation. The central objective, he remarked, is that all the victims receive support from the State. And he also announced that in the next few days the Economy and other ministries will report on new and different credit, benefit and tax reduction programs.
The measures to "take care" of retirees and pensioners consist, first of all, of a reinforcement of $37,000 per month during the months of September, October and November. In this way, Massa said, "the minimum in September becomes $124,000, between your credit and the reinforcement."
With these increases, the minister affirmed, the minimum retirement "will reach a 147% annual increase", although in truth, since they are bonds, they are not part of the basis on which the mobility formula is applied.
Another "benefit" or repair for retirees, which had already been announced, is access to credits of up to $400,000 in 24, 36 or 48 installments "at a quarter of the rate they pay at the Bank."
"In addition, for your purchases in a business with a debit card, you will have a VAT refund for the total amount of your consumption," the minister announced.
Last week, and from Washington, Massa had promised "two measures per day until next Friday."
The main and most expected was the fixed sum for workers in a dependency relationship, with an expectation of 40,000 pesos.
Announcements of credits for SMEs are also expected, benefits of tax reductions for companies that agree on a price path, export promotion regimes for regional economies, SMEs and value-added cereal companies to reinforce reserves and credits for consumption and a subsidized rate to lower debt to companies.
The measures were finalized on Saturday afternoon in a meeting at the Ministry of Economy led by Massa with members of the economic cabinet and other officials. Among them, the Minister of Labor, Kelly Olmos; the Minister of Social Development, Victoria Toulouse Peace; William Michel, head of Customs and the new body that controls prices; the head of the Federal Administration of Public Revenues (AFIP), Carlos Castagneto; and Gabriel VienniChief of Staff of the Secretary of Industry, among others.
"Two announcements per day from this Thursday until next Friday", this is how they promised from the Ministry of Economy that the scheme of measures to try to offset the effect of the devaluation of Monday post STEP. The 22% exchange rate jump left a trail of people affected: from SMEs to large companies; from merchants to individuals.
After the 22% increase in the official dollar on Monday after PASO, the Government announced the extension of Fair Prices and agreed with supermarket representatives a ceiling of 5% per month for price increases for the next 90 days.
Retail and wholesale supermarkets were part of the agreement, including: Día, Carrefour, Coto, Chango Más, Makro, Vital, Maxiconsumo, among others. Companies that access the program will receive tax benefits. In this way, "the State resigns collection to prevent the increase in costs from being transferred to prices," said the Ministry of Economy.
Massa recalled that the price agreement with the large chains is a direct consequence of "what has been experienced over the last five days in unstable situations." The minister pointed out that the International Monetary Fund, within the framework of the program that Argentina has had since 2018, "forced Argentina to devalue to proceed with the disbursement program."
As this medium highlighted last week, it is a scheme that companies reject but for now they are abiding by -at least the big ones-, while in the areas of dress, footwear and electronics, among others, the guideline for August reaches 12% and then drops to 5 or 6% in the following months. In exchange for these increases below what the impact of the devaluation means, the Government promises fiscal benefits.
Among them, the elimination of the PAIS Tax for the tariff positions defined later by Commerce stands out; the elimination of withholdings also for the assets that the Secretariat later establishes and the extension of the maturities for the payment of taxes, among others. With any of these benefits, companies could compensate an additional 6%, as officially reported.
Days later, Massa agreed with the oil companies to freeze fuel prices until after the elections. It should be remembered that after the STEP, almost all fuel sales companies had announced increases of 12.5 percent. After the official announcement, YPF also communicated the increase in its products.
“On Monday there was a fuel increase of 12.5% in almost all service stations, except for YPF stations, which made the decision to wait for a general agreement from the industry and refiners to carry out the process. increase”, reported the Minister of Economy at that time
“The decision to take care of people's pockets has a first impact, which is the imposition of the IMF, within the framework of the program that Argentina has in force with the Fund, of a 22.5% currency devaluation. Today, based on work between producers, refiners, the Ministry of Energy, Customs and the Ministry of Commerce, we have made progress on an agreement. It implies that the increase will be the last until October 31, there will be no more increases because there will be no more increases in the exchange rate," added Massa.
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