Milei’s spokesperson says public transport subsidies will be slashed starting January 1

Argentines have been left with more questions than answers about how the 10-point austerity plan announced Tuesday evening will be implemented

Cuts to public transport subsidies are likely to begin on January 1, President Javier Milei’s spokesperson Manuel Adorni told a press conference on Wednesday morning. However, he didn’t say how much they would be reduced by or offer any more details on timing.

His statements left Argentines in and around the capital wondering how much their commute will cost next month. Many people who live in the Buenos Aires suburbs make long trips to work each day, sometimes taking three buses.

The measure will affect trains and buses in the Buenos Aires metropolitan area (AMBA), as well as the Buenos Aires Subte.

Adorni called current fares “absolutely ridiculous,” highlighting that tickets in and around the capital are significantly cheaper than in the rest of the country.

At present, bus fares cost between AR$52.96 to AR$72.61 in Greater Buenos Aires (US$0.06-0.08 at the official rate, US$0.05-$0.07 at the MEP rate). Train fares range from AR$25.72-52.95 and the subway fare is AR$80.

Bus fares in major cities such as Rosario and Córdoba currently cost AR$240. 

Adorni did not say when Milei’s economic team would offer further detail on the fare hikes. “If I can say a date, I think the change in the subsidies scheme will happen on January 1,” he said.

Cuts to subsidies represent an “improvement of fiscal income” of 0.7%, he added.

“This package of measures is the opening act of what’s to come,” Adorni said, promising more announcements in the coming weeks. 

“I am not giving details because when we speak about structural reforms, you can imagine they are very thorough, and they are the initial spark of a very different Argentina.”

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On Tuesday afternoon, Economy Minister Luis Caputo revealed Milei’s ten-point plan to reduce fiscal deficit in a recorded message. It includes a megadevaluation of the Argentine peso by 54%, taking the official dollar exchange rate from AR$366 to AR$800. Other measures include cuts to public transport and utility subsidies.

All pending public works, including those who have already been approved but not yet started, will be suspended, although neither Caputo nor Adorni have said how long the suspension will last.

The SIRA import system will be abolished and replaced by a new system that will not require prior approval. “Those who want to import will be able to do so, and that’s it,” Caputo said in his message.


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