At the beginning of the session and after a series of crossings due to privilege issues, rule deviations and connection problems, the deputies gave the go-ahead to Budget 2021, It has come under review by the Senate after the ruling party detected the omission of a series of forms on works planned for next year. The first “law of laws” of the Government of Alberto Fernández was ratified by 139 votes in favor, 20 against and 83 abstentions.
The first section of the session was led by the vice president of the Lower House, Alvaro Gonzalez (PRO), but at night the president of the body, Sergio Massa, joined when the doctors considered that he should not continue the isolation because the swab they made to a member of the IMF with whom he had been in contact finally gave negative.
The Extraordinary Solidarity Contribution to Great Fortunes seeks to raise more than $ 300,000 million to allocate to productive and health plans. The Frente de Todos got the support of the Federal interblock, led by Eduardo Bucca; of the Unit for Development interblock, chaired by José Luis Ramon and also joined by Federal Action, whose owner is Felipe Álvarez, who until fifteen days ago was part of Together for Change, so his approval is discounted.
When opening the debate as an informant member, the deputy of the Frente de Todos and president of the Budget and Finance Committee, Carlos Heller, He assured that the bill of extraordinary solidarity contribution “does not go against anyone” and maintained that “it is not a confrontation between those who have the most and those who have the least.
“We are facing an emergency situation which is what gives it the exceptional situation, extraordinary. And it is for the only time, because it is intended – based on the constitutional principles of solidarity – to reach human persons with great fortunes”, he claimed.
As he specified, “solidarity is expressed in the number of people who at the other end will be beneficiaries of the solidarity contribution and will be able to mitigate the effects of the pandemic that we are suffering.” “It has been said that there are those who will have to sell their assets to meet this contribution. It is false of all falsehood”, he said when refuting the opposition critics to the project.
The vice president of the Budget Committee, the deputy PRO, Luciano Laspina, justified Juntos por el Cambio’s refusal to accompany the initiative by stating that “The emergency does not enable to violate the principles of the National Constitution.”
“Assets that encourage national savings are taxed: business assets and rural assets. It is a tax on investment in Argentina. What is the economic logic of raising taxes in the middle of a recession? ”He asked.
“The principles of the Constitution must be respected regardless of the patrimonial question of individuals, if not, we are one step away from fascism. Argentines need us to be creative in creating jobs, not taxes. Argentina is the most burdensome country on the planet “, Hill.
The deputy of the Frente de Todos and head of the Finance Commission, Fernanda Vallejos, He referred to the level of concentration of wealth in the world and in Argentina and pointed out: “Such is the level of concentration in a few hands that this contribution falls on less than 9,300 people, 0.02% of our population. But of the roughly $ 300 billion we hope to raise, about half will be contributed by just 252 people, those at the top of the pyramid. “
“For months we have heard about a supposedly suffocating tax pressure, ignoring the fact that we are not debating a tax but a contribution, for the only time, an extraordinary contribution. But it is also a lie. The tax pressure in Argentina is about 10 points below the levels that exist in the OECD countries and about 15 points below the European ones “he continued.
Furthermore, he added that “The contribution does not fall on the assets of the companies, but on the personal fortunes accumulated by the less than 9,300 richest human persons in Argentina, based on their declared assets.”
In turn, the legislator of the Left Front, Romina del Plá, and author also -together with Nicolas del Caño– of a project to tax large fortunes differentiated itself from the ruling party and announced the abstention from its inter-bloc, arguing that the so-called Solidarity Contribution “comes to cover up that at this moment all the measures of the International Monetary Fund are being taken, representing a brutal attack on the living conditions of the population worker”.“And we clarify that it is not a true collection or impact on the great fortunes of some rich. Companies and banks have been left out of it. The Left Front is not going to be part of the cover-up of this scam before the entire population “, he expressed.
Meanwhile, the deputy of the Neuquén Popular Movement and frequent ally of the ruling party, Alma Sapag, justified his rejection of the project, considering that “tax the same tax capacity again.” In addition, he questioned that “the collection of this tax, as it should actually be called, is not coparticipable.”
“This tax will bring more political and social costs than economic benefits. And it will also be prosecuted, because there are different arguments that serve to raise its unconstitutionality,” he concluded and specified: “Article 17 of our National Constitution for the right to property, or article 4 for fairness and the principle of proportionality and also articles 28 and 33 for reasonableness “.
The holder of the Federal Consensus block, Alejandro ‘Topo’ Rodríguez, He advanced the favorable vote of the majority of his bench but said that “it would not be complete if at the same time we did not immediately discuss, before the end of the year, a boost for the true generators of employment that are SMEs.”
Meanwhile, his blockmate Graciela Camano rejected the project considering that “It discourages private investment and creates legal insecurity and mistrust in the country.”
The president of the bloc of national deputies of the Civic Coalition, Maximiliano Ferraro, pointed out, in turn, that the project “It is a false and lying dichotomy that wants to be installed between rich and poor.” “This division that leads to the danger of continuing to generate more rift and disunity among Argentines is false,” said the legislator of Together for Change, anticipating the negative vote of his force.
“Today they will go with a victory to the Pyrrhic, but we from the Civic Coalition and from Together for Change are convinced that Argentina is built with everyone and if we continue with these increasingly high tax levels and the permanent attack on the private and entrepreneurial initiative we will have no way out as a nation “, Hill.
The deputy of the Frente de Todos, Itaí Hagman, He insisted during his speech that “while we discuss whether the 10 billion richest millionaires in Argentina have to make an extraordinary contribution, we have 5 million boys and girls below the poverty line. What is the level of inequality that we are willing to tolerate? “
“There are moments when you have to choose between the homeland and the patrimony. We always choose the homeland, some seem to choose the patrimony,” he continued and finished: “Here it has been shown that one can be voted by 40% but choose to represent 0.02%.”
For her part, the deputy of Together for Change, Graciela Ocaña, stated that “Argentina comes from 10 years of lack of growth, the data show that this is so” and added that “our country has more than 165 taxes, 12 of them were created by the Kirchners, they clearly have a great imagination to tax things ”.
In that sense, he proposed that “Congress advance against the assets seized in the courts and we pass a law to recover those assets that are estimated at 500 billion pesos, a figure that exceeds what is expected to be collected with this new tax.”
The “Solidarity and extraordinary contribution to help mitigate the effects of the pandemic”, such its full name, provides for the collection of a 2% fee to individuals who have declared assets of up to $ 200 million until the date of enactment of the law.
That rate will rise to 2.25% in cases of fortunes between $ 300 and $ 400 million, to 2.50% between $ 400 and $ 600 million and to 2.75% for $ 600 to $ 800 million. Meanwhile, the rate will rise to 3% when equity ranges between $ 800 and $ 1,500 million, to 3.25% for fortunes of $ 1,500 million to $ 3,000 million, and from that figure it will be 3.5%.
Those who have goods abroad, they will pay a 50% surcharge on the aliquot that would correspond to them. The differential is eliminated if people repatriate 30% of their declared financial holdings outside the country. In that case, they will pay for everything as if they had it in Argentina.
Regarding the use of the proceeds, the opinion establishes that 20% will go to the purchase and / or production of critical equipment and supplies for the health emergency, 20% to SMEs, 15% to programs for the development of popular neighborhoods, 20% to Progresar and 25% to natural gas exploration and development programs, through Enarsa. “
Two initiatives of an environmental nature were also included in the agenda of the special session. On the one hand, the project of Maximum Kirchner on forest fires, which prevents the commercial use of burned land for between 30 and 60 years, with the purpose of preventing real estate ventures from developing.
The text, which reforms Law 26,815 of the Fire Management Therefore, it is prohibited to make modifications to the use that the surfaces had prior to the arson or accidental fires, it has the endorsement of the Frente de Todos and the minority opposition blocks -Interbloque Federal and Interbloque Unidad Federal para el Desarrollo-.
While, Together for Change presented a minority opinion for its rejection, on the grounds that “It is supported by a dangerous generalization that assumes that behind every surface affected by fire there is intentionality and economic speculation.”
On the other hand, the so-called Yolanda Law, with half sanction from the Senate, which determines the Mandatory training on environmental issues for officials of the three branches of the State.