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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Pinera says Chile’s 2022 draft budget seeks to cut deficit after epidemic

Santiago-Chilean President Sebastian Pinera on Thursday unveiled a. 12.1 billion draft budget for 2022, saying the world’s top copper-producing balloon deficit would begin to be filled after more than a year of urgent spending on tackling the Covid-1 pandemic epidemic.

In a televised speech, the center-right president said the budget would reduce the structural deficit from 11.5 percent of GDP in 2021 to 3.9 percent of GDP in 2022.

“It represents … a necessary step in restoring the financial balance, stabilizing public debt and strengthening the sustainable pillars of our country’s economic growth and human development.”

The Chilean economy has been rocked by months of budget Covid-1-induced stagnation, fueled by a world-class vaccination campaign and a stimulus of government-initiated action.

But Pinera said those measures saw the 2021 budget balloon see 27 27 billion, or 33.7 percent more than lawmakers approved last year – about 10 percent of total GDP.

“This level of fiscal deficit and debt growth is not sustainable over time,” he said.

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Pinera said the new budget will see a 22.5 percent reduction from total projected spending in 2021, including emergency measures, but still represents a 7.7 percent increase over the baseline 2021 budget initially approved by lawmakers last year.

Pinera said the budget allocates new funds for housing, public work and new infrastructure for the 2023 Pan American Games, which will be held in the capital Santiago, as well as an emphasis on healthcare.

Pinera said Chile was already one of the first countries in the world to launch booster vaccine shots against Covid-1 against the vaccine needed for 2022.

He said the budget also allocates funds to address a weak drought that has spread to many parts of central and northern Chile, as well as to climate change.

Legislators now have days to review and approve the budget.

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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