FpV proposes removing subsidies for US$-buyers
Nine Victory Front (FpV) lawmakers and an allied Socialist legislator yesterday submitted a bill proposing the withdrawal of electricity, gas and water subsidies from citizens who purchase more than US$1,000 on the official savings exchange market per month.
The author of the bill is Socialist Party lawmaker Jorge Rivas, while co-signers include the FpV’s Diana Conti, Juan Marcopolus, María Ester Balcedo, Alejandro Abraham, Horacio Avoscan, Jorge Barreto, Adriana Puigross, Mariela Ortiz and Ana María Perroni.
People “with sufficient savings capacity to allocate part of their monthly income to acquire at least US$1,000, must find themselves capable of paying the full price of public utilities,” the document reads.
The government recently announced significant cuts to natural gas and water subsidies unless citizens reduce their consumption by 20 percent, and subsidies for electricity rates are also expected to be reduced in the near future.
“If (citizens) have not forfeited their subsidies, they should stop benefiting from them the moment they incur on the purchase of that sum of foreign currency,” the lawmakers say, adding that the measure would enable the government to redirect such funding “to sectors that are truly in need.”
Rumours that the government would forcibly remove subsidies have persisted since the failure of its voluntary withdrawal programme.
The cuts announced at the end of March had also been in the works since 2011, when the bite of a highly deficient energy sector began to take its toll on the Central Bank’s foreign reserves.
Herald with Télam
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