This Monday, August 15, the Chamber of Deputies began with the debate and subsequent vote on the Accountability project, whose analysis was previously carried out in the Finance Commission integrated with the Budget.
The majority informant member during the presentation in the Plenary was Álvaro Rodríguez, from the National Party, who said that although the global perspectives are “uncertain due to the international context, “the economy will continue on the path of growth, estimated at an average of around 4.8% in 2022”.
“Signs continue that indicate a recovery both in the level of consumption and in investment and exports,” said the official parliamentarian.
In terms of supply, a generalized growth is projected, with a strong boost from the trade, transport and professional activities and leasing sectors. “From 2023 onwards, it is assumed that the recovery from the pandemic, global growth and the structural reforms generated by the government, will allow growth of 2.7% per year.”
The ruling party assures that the health, social and economic measures associated with the pandemic “allowed a good performance of economic activity and the normalization of almost all economic sectors, generating an increase of 4.4% of GDP.”
In terms of production, in the generalized recovery the sectors “Commerce, Accommodation and Supply of food and beverages, Manufacturing Industries and Health, Education, Real Estate Activities” stand out.
In the first quarter of 2022, the Uruguayan economy “recorded a real year-on-year growth of 8.3%, which confirmed the recovery process of economic activity.”
The nationalist parliamentarian pointed out that it is an Accountability addressed to all Uruguayans, which “guarantees the freedom of all sectors and supports the most vulnerable.”
“It is dynamic, focused and, above all, respectful of public money, with the commitments assumed and, above all, with the citizens,” he stated.
Does not respond to people’s needs
For her part, the deputy of the Broad Front Ana Olivera, a minority reporting member, stated that the government’s Accountability “does not provide answers to the needs of the people, those who do not make ends meet, those who are unemployed, those who suffer food insecurity, those who suffer from the conditions in which public education is imparted, will not find answers in this Accountability”.
“Those who care about scientific development and an agenda that prepares our country to face the transformations in the world of work and environmental problems will not find answers either. This is an Accountability that does not solve the problems of Uruguay today and that prepares the resources to spend them in 2024”, is indicated in the minority report of the Broad Front.
“We are facing a government that needs political discourse to justify the absence of public policies, that breaks promises, that allocates resources with discretion, and that lacks a development agenda for the future,” it is expressed.
In the “wonderland” that the government paints for us, “the capacities of the public sector to protect those whose rights are most violated deteriorate.” A “social adjustment” is consolidated at the expense of the great majority, further benefiting the most powerful sectors.
“The reality speaks of all this: the drop in wages and inactivity, the precarious and transitory nature of a large part of the jobs created, the greater poverty and inequality compared to the pre-pandemic situation, the increase in soup kitchens, which still persist. This reality, pressing for many families, contrasts with an economy that is above pre-pandemic levels, with exports at record levels and with a million-dollar increase in deposits abroad, ”he expresses.
Olivera said that in two years he saved on salary for civil servants and pensions.
In education, he assured that the budget cut is reflected in the fall in the salaries of teachers and civil servants, in their working conditions and in the deterioration of educational quality. Education was cut in these two years, 140 million dollars. Public spending on education went from 5.3% of GDP in 2019 to 4.6% in 2021.
In the State Services Administration (ASSE), 70 million dollars were cut, and in housing, 50 million dollars were cut, Olivera explained.
He stressed that in terms of social protection, unfulfilled promises and “announcements” abound, and without a doubt, the absence of comprehensive plans.
There are also other “greatly forgotten” in this Rendering of Accounts. “There are no policies for the productive development of the country, no resources are foreseen for family production, nor for a devastated sector such as Tourism.”
The government of the “golden mesh” facilitates the conditions so that “a few concentrate the fruits of growth.” On the contrary, the vast majority of the population is excluded. The “spill” defies the laws of physics, being from the bottom up.
“The fight against inequality is not part of the objectives of this government, since it ignores the inefficiency that inequality generates. Saving today will be more expensive in the future”, warns the Broad Front.
The opposition considers that the economy is growing, but the fruits of growth do not reach the population. “To make matters worse, the Uruguayan economy is showing a mediocre performance when compared to the rest of the countries in the region.”
“The government has failed to fulfill its commitment to citizens to defend the purchasing power of wages and, in particular, of the most submerged wages. As a consequence of the drop in wages, pensions fell by 3.8% in real terms compared to the average values of 2019”.
The FA assures that another of the great breaches of this government is inflation, and the results in terms of poverty: “of the 100,000 people who fell below the poverty line in 2020, 66,000 remain in that condition. In this regard, the management carried out by the government and in particular the economic team in the presentation of data during these two and a half years is worrying.
Children and adolescents continue to be the most affected, “poverty reaches 18.7% of people under 12 years of age and 19.4% of people between 12 and 17 years of age.”
Likewise, the FA rejects a non-transparent management of public resources. “The assignments of this Rendering of Accounts are unclear and in some cases misleading.”