Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Together for Change against the ropes of Deputies Sergio Massa’s project is progressing in Congress

With the presence of national officials and a first line of union leaders, the Frente de Todos began to discuss the project that seeks to reform the Income Tax. It was the first and last informational meeting of the Budget commission: the ruling party is focused on taking advantage of the political centrality given to them by the Revenue announcement and seek to approve it as soon as possible. The goal is to rule on Monday and, if the votes are taken, it will be taken to the precincts on Tuesday.

Together for Change already expects it to vote against – despite the fact that it was one of Mauricio Macri’s campaign promises in 2015 -, so the ruling party will try to fish for the votes it lacks in the midterms. block. There is one point, however, on which the opposition insists: how the national government will compensate for the loss of revenue. During the committee’s debate, the one in charge of answering that question was the Undersecretary of Public Revenue, Claudia Balestrini, who suggested that some taxes could be changed and open the door to discuss again the collection of Revenue from the Judiciary .

The project sent by Sergio Massa to Congress proposes to change the Income Tax by creating a “scheduled tax” on the highest income of a dependency relationship to be paid only to those who earn more than 15 minimum wage (currently 1.7 million pesos). There are, however, exceptions to this benefit: directors of corporations, CEOs, managers, political officials and privileged pensioners are excluded. According to the calculation prepared by Claudia Balestrini, the reform has a fiscal effect of 0.28 percent of the GDP and she emphasizes: “We do not have to see it as a lost collection, on the contrary, here there is a reflux that can be . from greater VAT collection due to increased consumption”.

“With this proposal, only 90 thousand taxpayers will pay, which represents 0.88 percent of the jobs registered in the country,” celebrated the head of the AFIP, Carlos Castagneto, who claims that the objective is to move towards in an “increase in taxes.”. Castagneto also mentioned the financial impact of the reform and emphasized that it will be paid for by the PAIS tax and the “other measures we will take regarding the Revenues that will be presented next Budget law.” Without giving more details, the head of the AFIP announced that the 2024 Budget, which will be sent to the Ministry of Economy in Congress this Friday (as established by law), has “separate” tax costs .

Where does the money come from?

Last year, the Frente de Todos tried to include some articles in the 2023 Budget offprint that, in place, ended up being broken. One of them is the proposal of Marcelo Casaretto (FdT) that the Judiciary will start paying the Revenue. Rejected by the Chamber of Deputies – with votes not only from the JxC, but from the left and union-based officials who oppose the judicial employees who pay the Revenue -, the FdT is preparing to return the debate to the table.

“0.28 of GDP is recovered not only by the minimum tax, it is also confusing that rural properties abroad do not pay any tax. That 0.28 is recovered by adding other analyzes to other tax costs, for example, we included one of them in the offprint last year when considering the magistrates,” Balestrini slipped during the debate. In addition to the Income for the Judiciary – which will only be for judges and officials with higher salaries if the Income reform is successful (because only those who earn more than 15 minimum wages will pay) – is ruling party analyzed including two other taxes: the minimum tax on corporations and that of rural properties of Argentines abroad.

Favor unions

After the presentations of the national officials, who added that the Minister of Labor, Kelly Olmos, it was the turn of the union organizations that raised the banner “Salary is not profit” for many years. “We have to stop asking ourselves why this is the case,” began the general secretary of the CGT, Héctor Daer, referring to opposition critics who questioned Massa’s announcement to eliminate the fourth category for being “electoralist.” “Giving credit to those who work is a fundamental change in the philosophy of our country. It is easy to say ‘I lowered the price and removed the restrictions’, that is a greater cost than what what we are talking about today,” he said, and concluded: “This is consumption, it is not money that goes into circulation in financial scams or in caves.

The general secretary of the Autonomous CTA, Hugo “Cachorro” Godoy, and the general secretary of the CTERA, Sonia Alesso, spoke, meanwhile, of the historic fight of unionism against this tax, which even led to national strikes (as of 2012). “In 2015, the candidate Mauricio Macri declared and guaranteed the society that in his government no worker would pay income tax and many believed him, but unfortunately in his government the number of workers affected by this unfair tax,” Godoy recalled. in a chicane on the way to JxC that will be repeated throughout the day.

Together for Change vs

“I want to abolish the Income Tax, who doesn’t? And I want to abolish the VAT. But the vote must be general and not tax by tax. We will be left without taxes to continue public spending, so that the debate must be unified,” criticized, when the interventions of the representatives, Martín Tetaz (Evolución) began.

JxC described, last night, that together a position of rejection. It was not easy: many legislators considered that the fourth category should be eliminated and the awareness came first that the ruling party intended, with this step, to put them on the ropes and make them against the past, until now, one. of the main war horses: the abolition of taxes.

The arguments of the ruling party

“They say that you cannot work by dissociating a particular tax regime because it creates an imbalance in the tax base. However, you presented 29 projects to reform the income tax, “Sergio Palazzo (FdT) mocked them. The general secretary of La Bancaria emphasized, instead, that in the JxC electoral platform there is no general tax project “but only the removal of restrictions that means 3.7 points more in terms of collection.” “So, we take care of the State’s resources when it comes to workers, but when will we eliminate the 3.7 percent and will it serve the oligopolies there if we don’t collect?” he concluded.

“I am surprised to be here debating an important issue and find representatives who do not agree with people who get more,” Castagneto joined the debate, continuing a discussion with Alejandro Cacace ( Evolution). The fight escalated and the president of the commission, Carlos Heller, had to step down to calm things down. “It does not solve inflation or all inequality. It is a measure aimed at improving the specific situation of a sector of society,” said Heller.

The debate will continue next Monday at 4 pm, the date on which the FdT will seek to rule and, the next day, call a session and approve the initiative. The votes, at the moment, are uncertain. The FdT has the support of the left and some provincial blocs, but it remains unknown what position the libertarian bloc led by Javier Milei will adopt. The JxC has already announced its rejection, so the position adopted by the eight deputies of the Federal Interblock will be key. The negotiations were led by the president of the ruling bloc, Germán Martínez, and the president of the Chamber, Cecilia Moreau, but more than a deputy part of a provincial force announced: “Sergio talked to the governors.”

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