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In Argentina, deputies approve tax on large fortunes

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São Paulo – President Alberto Fernández’s base in the Chamber of Deputies managed to approve, this Wednesday (18th), the creation of an extraordinary tax on large fortunes in Argentina. The text obtained 133 favorable votes against 115 deputies who opposed the bill and two abstentions, and is now being analyzed by the Senate. Prepared by government representatives, the project must pass the scrutiny of the Argentine Legislature, where the president’s party holds a comfortable majority, as the newspaper points out Page 12.

The initiative, officially called the “Extraordinary Contribution of Solidarity of Great Fortunes”, also has popular support. According to the bill, taxation should be levied on the income of those who have certified more than 200 million Argentine pesos as equity in their last tax return. Which would be equivalent to fortunes above U $ 2.5 million or, more than R $ 13 million (with the US currency quoted at R $ 5.29).

The text also provides for the application of a progressive rate of 2% to 3.5% depending on equity. The measure, in all, should reach 2% of the population, just over 9,200 individuals, according to the Federal Administration of Public Revenue (AFIP). The agency calculates that the collection will still represent about one percentage point of the country’s GDP.

Social investment

The amount raised is also already earmarked for the project. At least 20%, according to the government, will be allocated for the purchase and production of medical equipment and health supplies, due to the pandemic of the new coronavirus. Until this Tuesday, Argentina registered 36,106 victims of the covid-19. Small and medium-sized companies should also benefit from 20% of the total collected.

The website Opera Mundi it also details that 15% of the resources will be invested in socio-urban integration programs in popular neighborhoods for social development. Another 20% will go to Progressar scholarships, which would be a kind of Argentine ProUni. And 25% will also be allocated to natural gas exploration and development programs through Enarsa – Argentina’s state-owned oil company.

Since 2018, with the neoliberal government of Mauricio Macri, Argentina has been going through a recession that has brought about 35% of the population to high levels of poverty. The Peronist government took power last year, with a 10% unemployment rate in the country, according to the international press.

As in everyone, the economic crisis was further aggravated by the health crisis caused by the covid-19. Fernández’s team has allocated millions of dollars to companies, in an attempt to mitigate the economic effects of restrictive measures to combat covid-19, followed since the beginning of the pandemic across the country. Deputies favorable to taxation stressed that the super-rich minority must contribute to the “majority of compatriots who are on the poverty line”.

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Economy

more unemployment and more informality

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São Paulo – Government, businessmen and some parliamentarians were in tune with the defense of the bill that, if approved, would lead to the creation of Law 13,467 in 2017. The so-called labor reform, after all, would lead to the creation of millions of jobs. This would happen to the extent that it would end the rigidity of the legislation, which they treated as being “plastered”, facilitating hiring and giving the much-needed “modernization” to the Brazilian labor market.

Because the law completed three years on November 11 “and nobody celebrated, not even timidly”, recalls analyst Marcos Verlaine, from the Inter-Union Department of Parliamentary Advisory (Diap). “Among the expectations generated by the authors, the government of that time, the businessmen, who sponsored, defended and acted strongly in Congress to approve it, the media and reality, remained the harsh reality”, he says, in an article. He defines the measure passed by Congress as a “capital Trojan horse” to implode labor rights.

Collective bargaining?

The insistent defense of the “negotiated over the legislature”, a recurring expression at the time, was not to privilege negotiation, notes the analyst. “It was to remove rights, since the negotiations – both CCT (ccollective labor agreements) and ACT (collective labor agreements) – they never prevented, on the contrary, that the conventions surpass the CLT, nor that the agreements surpass the conventions. ”

The “millions” of jobs did not come, even before the pandemic. The growth in occupation was basically due to informal work. In 2016, the year before the “reform”, the country had 10.1 million unpaid employees in the private sector and 22.4 million self-employed workers. Last year, they were 11.6 million and 24.2 million, respectively (check table). The data are from the National Household Sample Survey (Pnad) Continua, from IBGE.

Modernization or precariousness?

Employment with a wallet fell. And the Gini index at work, which measures inequality, which until 2015 fell, rose again the following year and has not stopped.

The “reform” introduced hiring modalities, such as intermittent work. They were also presented as items of the necessary “modernization”, but union members and researchers identify them as additional signs of precariousness in the market. Although still small, the participation of the intermittent modality has been growing.

This week, the Federal Supreme Court (STF) began to judge direct actions of unconstitutionality against intermittent work. In his vote, the rapporteur, Minister Edson Fachin, considered the item unconstitutional and causing damage to workers’ health. But his colleagues Kassio Nunes Marques and Alexandre Moraes were in favor of the sport. The trial was interrupted by a request for view from Minister Rosa Weber.

If it is impossible to revoke the law in its entirety, Verlaine suggests specific changes, citing intermittent hiring. “It is necessary to negotiate with all political and social actors in order to bring about changes in this scorched earth scenario” he argues.

read more: ‘Labor Reform’: Stories of a False Promise and Changes in ‘Endless Destruction’

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