4% rise in family allowances and freezing of the price of supergas: the new government measures

4% rise in family allowances and freezing of the price of supergas: the new government measures

The government presented a package of economic measures as an attempt to deal with the significant inflation that has been impacting the cost of living in our country for months.

Sitting at the table were the Minister of Labor, Pablo Mieres; that of Economy and Finance, Azucena Arbeleche; that of Social Development, Martín Lema and that of Industry, Energy and Mining, Omar Paganini.

Standing behind, as support, were five referents of the multicolored coalition: Pablo Iturralde (National Party); Adrián Peña, Minister of the Environment (Colorado Party); Irene Moreira, Minister of Housing and Land Management (Open Town Council), Daniel Peña (People’s Party) and Omar Rodríguez (Independent Party).

The first to speak was Arbeleche, who started the conference to present the measures shortly after being questioned by the Broad Front in the Chamber of Deputies. According to the chief, “the economy is growing and, hand in hand with growth, job creation is taking place” and she understands that the measures “are focused on the most vulnerable sectors and are sustained over time.”

The Minister of Social Development, Martín Lema, took the microphone to highlight that “there was a lot of coordination, both contacts with the President of the Republic, with different ministers and with the parties that make up the government coalition to not only analyze different initiatives but to see the implementation, because every initiative has to be viable”.

The first thing to be announced after the initial speeches was the 4% increase in the Family Allowances of the Equity Plan and the Social Uruguay Cards that will come into force only in July, reaching 850,000 families. Additionally, the price of supergas, which has been increasing strongly pressured by the rise in the price of oil derivatives in the world, will be frozen until the end of September. Recharges for the most disadvantaged quintiles of society, attached to the Mides environment, will have a 50% discount from June.

“When we talk about populations linked to the Mides (and to this extent specifically) they are people who receive Family Allowances -Equity Plan, who receive the Uruguay Social Card, who receive the Old Age Assistance benefit, but also who receive Family Allowances from the BPS up to the first income bracket; this measure reaches one million Uruguayans”, expressed Lema.

The fourth measure, added the head of Social Development, “has to do with a complement to the work that has been carried out in early childhood, and is in addition to the US$ 50 million that are being implemented by different organizations, and has to do with with the reinforcement that we are going to give from June to September inclusive to 130,000 children from 0 to 6 years old who receive Family Allowances – Equity Plan (AFPE) and it is a reinforcement of $1,500 per child”.

For him, it is a “very important measure, because when we say that there are 130,000 children who are going to benefit from this measure, we are talking about 42% of the total number of children between 0 and 6 years of age in our country.”

The concept of “personalized VAT”

The fifth measure presented by the government is, in the words of the minister, “of a structural nature” because “it has to do with a decision that the government has taken to move towards targeted VAT, towards personalized VAT.”

This particular point “will be implemented through the enabling of AFPE collection through the TuApp platform, that is, through the cell phone (…) Those who make use of this tool and collect AFPE through the TuApp application will be able to access products with the VAT discount”.

And he continued: “On the other hand and complementing this action, the AFPE beneficiaries who choose this payment method will also be able, from their income, to supplement up to $2,000 for each beneficiary per month to transfer it to the TuApp platform, that is, the cell phone, and in that they will also have a VAT discount on products”, a measure that allows “focusing on people who most need a VAT discount on products, because when a product is discounted in general, that affects both those who can and those who that he can’t.”

Arbeleche returned to the microphone to say that “all the proposals received by the Executive Power are analyzed. Today we are presenting what we understand are the best that we can offer as a government” and was emphatic that there is consensus between the government and the coalition on the measures.

focus on work

When Minister Mieres spoke, he entered stating that his portfolio is added with actions for the promotion of employment.

He recalled that “the Employment Promotion Law for the most vulnerable sectors is in force, which grants subsidies to all employers who hire young people, between 15 and 29 years old, in different modalities; for those over 45 years of age, also in different modalities, particularly in a situation of unemployment; and for people with disabilities; and in the three cases due to gender differential: when it comes to a female worker, the subsidy is higher”.

For three months, by decree, a regulation aimed at unemployed people between 30 and 44 years of age will enter into force in accordance with the above that, “in case of being hired and having more than six months of unemployment, the employer will obtain a subsidy that is deducted from their obligations with the BPS -same as in the Employment Promotion Law- for three months, equivalent to $5,000 per month”.

Thus, the MTSS believes that employment can be boosted in “the entire age range from 15 to 60 years.”

“The reactivation of employment continues to push forward, and the April data marks a new decrease in workers in unemployment insurance, falling by 3,600 compared to March and assuming a step lower: we are at 43,947 workers, which is a figure that is below below the 2015-2019 average, including those with partial unemployment insurance. If we remove those who are in partial unemployment insurance, the figure is less than 2014 in workers in unemployment insurance”, recapitulated the minister and leader of the Independent Party.

Once again, Arbeleche took the floor to add more measures: “We are going to announce two steps that we hope will be the beginning of other steps that will continue. On the one hand, we are going to lower tariffs on those products that we understand are among the most affected by the international conflict: wheat flour, and soybean and sunflower oil. In the case of wheat flour, we eliminate the tariff for imports from outside the zone (outside Mercosur), and in the case of flour imports from Argentina, it is reduced by half (it becomes 6%). With regard to soybean and sunflower oils, the tariff for purchases made from countries outside Mercosur is also eliminated and for purchases from Argentina it is reduced from 16% to 8%.

“The following measure is based on an article of the Budget Law, which allows that the sanitary controls of the competent body do not have to be carried out on all export and import shipments, but can be done randomly based on an analysis of risk; Based on this article, we provide that LATU does not have the obligation to carry out the analyzes on all imports of food and beverages, but rather that it does so randomly based on its risk analysis and with the corresponding affidavit from the importer”, he added. the economist.

“This rationalization of the import process allows us to lower the tariff, the rate charged by LATU for carrying out these analyzes from 1.5% to 0.5% plus VAT included in both cases,” said Arbeleche, who argued that “These are two concrete, structural measures that have to do with this objective of having better, lower prices, so that we can have greater purchasing power for all Uruguayans,” he concluded.

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