Government announced social benefits and measures to mitigate impact on prices

Government announced social benefits and measures to mitigate impact on prices

Increase in family allowances and Uruguay Social Card; VAT discounts; Freezing of the price of supergas and a 50% reduction in the recharge rate for Mides beneficiaries; reduction of tariffs for the import of oils and flours, and in the LATU rate for food imports; and temporary employment subsidy for people who did not work in the last semester, are some of the measures presented.

The announcements were made at a press conference held on the night of Tuesday the 17th in the Executive Tower, headed by the Ministers of Economy and Finance, Azucena Arbeleche, of Social Development, Martín Lema, of Industry, Energy and Mining, Omar Paganini, and Labor and Social Security, Pablo Mieres. Also present were the Minister of Housing and Territorial Planning, Irene Moreira; the Minister of the Environment, Adrián Peña; and political representatives of the Government Coalition.

The measures presented are aimed at confronting and containing the rise in prices. Arbeleche stressed that the economy has been in a recovery phase since last year, along with the creation of jobs. The international panorama due to the war between Ukraine and Russia increased food prices and Uruguay is no stranger to this situation, he argued.

The minister recalled that inflation in Uruguay reaches 9.4% and the measures presented are aimed at making money yield more in the pockets of Uruguayans. “These are measures that can be sustained over time and be focused on the most vulnerable social sectors,” she indicated.

Arbeleche estimated that the total cost of the measures will be between 40 and 50 million dollars. All the proposals of the Executive Branch are analyzed and today “the best measures that we can offer as a coalition government” are presented, he said.

In this sense, the authorities announced a 4% increase for the Family Allowances-Equity Plan and Uruguay Social Card of the Ministry of Social Development (Mides), for some 850,000 people.

In addition, the price of supergas will be frozen until the end of September. The 13-kilo bottle will remain at 823 pesos during the winter. In addition, Mides beneficiaries will have a 50% discount on supergas refills, for which they will pay 411 pesos for each bottle until the end of September. This benefit reaches one million people, said Minister Lema.

Likewise, there will be an additional reinforcement of the Parenting Bonus of 1,500 pesos per month for 130,000 children from zero to six years of age from June to September. This measure reaches 42% of children of that age, and is in addition to the 50 million dollars per year provided for in the Early Childhood plan approved in the last Rendering of Accounts.

There will be a focused application of value added tax (VAT) for beneficiaries of the Family Allowance-Equity Plan who choose to collect through the TuApp application. In addition, these people will be able to incorporate up to 2,000 pesos per month from their own resources, which will also deduct VAT. This measure “allows us to focus the service and have a fairer system,” said Lema.

The authorities also announced a reduction and elimination of import tariffs on the products most affected by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. For wheat flour, the tariff rate, which was 12%, both for extrazone and for that coming from Argentina, will be eliminated in the case of countries outside the region and will be reduced by 6% for what arrives from that country. . In the case of refined soybean and sunflower oils, the rate of 21% will be eliminated for countries outside Mercosur, and, in the case of Argentina, it will decrease from 16 to 8%.

In addition, the Executive Power will regulate the existing regulations so that LATU carries out foreign trade controls, based on risk analysis. This will make it possible to streamline processes and lower costs, the authorities specified. Along the same lines, the rate charged by LATU on food imports will be reduced from 1.5% plus VAT to 0.5% plus VAT, starting June 1st.

There will also be a non-refundable state contribution of up to a limit of $5,000 per month for each worker who is hired on a full-time basis and who has not had a formal job in the last semester. This subsidy will be paid for 4 months and is aimed at people between 30 and 44 years old.

The Minister of Labor explained that the labor reactivation continues, with 3,600 fewer people on unemployment insurance during April. Currently, there are 43,947 workers in this situation, a figure below the 2015-2019 average. “Our goal is to continue pushing for employment,” said Mieres.

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