The resources of the National State destined to finance social programs amounted to $270,680 million in the first quarter, with a nominal increase of 94.3% and 27.2% in real terms.
While the funds for the Empower Work plan had an increase of 156.9% in the same period which, after deducting inflation, represented a real increase of 68.1%.
The data is part of latest report on budget execution prepared by the Congressional Budget Office (OPC), in which it was specified that there were increases higher than inflation in all social benefits, including retirement, non-contributory pensions and family allowances.
The report of the bicameral entity highlighted that, in the accumulated from January to March of this year, the total social benefits demanded an expense of $ 1,596 billion, equivalent to 55.9% of current expenses and 51.6% of total expenses.
Among the social benefits the item with the greatest relative weight was retirement and pensionswith $1,064 trillion, 66.7% of the total, with a year-on-year increase of 60.8% in nominal terms and 5.3% at constant values.
The OPC attributed the increase to “mobility of assets” which in the analyzed period was 8.07% in March of last year, 12.12% in June, 12.39% in September, 12.11% in December and 12.28% in last March, leaving the minimum credit at $32,630.
Family allowances reached $223,620 million (77.7% nominal increase and 16.3% real increase), amount of which $85,115 million corresponded to the Universal Child Allowance (58.4% nominal and 3.7% real) and $138,505 million to the rest (92.1% nominal and 25.7% real).
Non-contributory pensions represented disbursements of $100,012 million in the first quarterwhich implied an increase of 57.4% in nominal terms and 3.1% in real terms.
Social programs demanded expenses for $ 207,680 millionwith a nominal increase of 94.3% and a real increase of 27.2%, an improvement that the OPC considered a consequence of the “expansive behavior of the main assistance programs.”
In this sense, it was highlighted that the most important of all, the Empower Work, represented disbursements for $ 81,969 million, with a nominal year-on-year rise of 156.9%, which in real terms was 68.1%.
The OPC highlighted that “between the first quarter of 2021 and the same period this year, the universe of beneficiaries of the Empower Work program increased by 52% (from 855,344 active holders to 1.3 million) and the food benefit granted with a card increased by 56 % (from 1.6 million to 2.5 million).”
The Food Policies demanded funds for $ 59,789 million, with a growth compared to the first quarter of 2021 of 104.4%, which after deducting inflation represented a real variation of 33.8%.
At Progress Scholarships were allocated $13,211 millionin the item with the highest relative increase: 457.6% nominal and 265% real.
The rest of the social programs had resources from the National State for $52,710 million, with a year-on-year increase of 21.6% which, being lower than inflation for the period, implied a fall of 20.4% in real terms.
Social programs have been registering a marked increase in the last two years, after in 2019 they had a real drop of 18.2% in relation to the level of 2018, always considering the first quarter of each year.
In 2020, In the framework of the start of the coronavirus pandemic and the need to reinforce assistance to vulnerable sectors, the resources allocated to social programs had a real increase of 67.1%, while the annual increase in 2021 reached 32.7%.
In this way, the first quarter of 2022 showed real increases of 27.2% compared to the same period of 2021, 68.7% in relation to January-March 2020 and 181.9% if compared to the first quarter of 2019, according to the OPC report.