Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Argentina: Minister and presidential candidate raffles off cars and household appliances


Amid overheated inflation and a difficult election scenario, Argentine Economy Minister and presidential candidate Sergio Massa will launch a raffle system for cars, motorcycles and household appliances for millions of consumers and retailers.

The measure will come into force next Monday and complements another measure previously announced by Massa, which consists in the refund of 21% of value added tax (VAT) on essential products and aims to improve the purchasing power of citizens.

All buyers and sellers who use electronic payment methods with a debit card take part in the raffle.

Inflation rose to 12.4% in August – the highest monthly rate since February 1991 – while the annual rate reached 124.4%, one of the highest in the world. The increase in the cost of living was mainly due to food prices, which increased by 15.6%.

The minister’s main rival in the elections in which Peronism is fighting for power is the far-right economist Javier Milei, a favorite who has promised to end inflation, which, along with insecurity, is the biggest problem facing the population.

The plan of Massa, the candidate of the Unión por la Patria, calls for the return of 21% of the entire basic basket – consisting of various food and hygiene items – to about nine million workers, with salaries of up to 708,000 pesos (about 1,900 pesos). earn dollars at the official exchange rate). Around seven million pensioners, self-employed people and household employees also benefit from this.

Massa took aim at Milei of the La Libertad Avanza party, pointing out that his spending adjustment program aims to “abolish state benefits for pensioners and workers.”

Those measures have been questioned by economists and Massa’s election rivals, who believe they would have a negative impact on the budget deficit and spur inflation by putting more cash into circulation.

In a week in which the government tried to counter the negative data of rising prices, Massa also announced a tax break for almost a million workers that will take effect on October 1 and increase to 1.7 million pesos per month, which $4,800 is the lower limit at which registered employees pay income tax.

MP Luciano Laspina, who is part of the team of economists led by Patricia Bullrich – presidential candidate of the main opposition force Together for Change – described the announcement as “election nonsense”. “The reduction in income tax is financed by increasing the inflation tax. “It is an irresponsible, unfair and extremely irresponsible measure.”

At the beginning of the month, Massa announced an increase in the minimum pension in addition to loans, monetary policy increases or tax cuts for various sectors.

To win the elections in the first round, the candidate with the most votes must receive at least 45% of the vote or 40% and have a lead of at least 10 percentage points over the second most voter. Otherwise, there will be a runoff election on November 19th between the two candidates with the most votes.

Nation World News Desk
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