Economy Minister Sergio Massa announced bonuses for workers, price freezes, and tax breaks for agriculture in a series of short videos on Sunday afternoon. They completed a series of measures that he announced throughout the day, designed to counterbalance the economic impact of the devaluation earlier this month and rapidly rising inflation.
Earlier on Sunday, he had announced bonuses for pensioners and welfare recipients, loans for workers, and tax relief for self-employed people.
Prices of basic goods have skyrocketed over the past fortnight. It comes after La Libertad Avanza’s Javier Milei unexpectedly won the August 13 primaries and the government devalued the peso by 22%. The government hopes the new measures will help Argentines to absorb the economic impact of this.
Massa is the presidential candidate for the ruling coalition, Unión por la Patria. The coalition came third, behind Juntos por el Cambio.
Formally employed workers with monthly salaries of up to AR$400,000 (US$1094 at the official exchange rate or US$601 at the MEP dollar rate) will receive AR$60,000 in two installments, to be paid in September and October, Massa said. Domestic workers and participants in the Potenciar Trabajo social program will also get bonuses.
Agricultural exporters hit by drought will be offered up to five tonnes of fertilizer. From September 1, export duties will no longer be applied to certain regional agricultural products, a policy that was announced in July.
A new US$770 million export financing line will also be created to stimulate the sale of Argentine products abroad.
Medicine and gas price increases will be suspended until November 1. Over 400 companies that produce basic goods committed to signing the latest version of the Precios Justos price agreement scheme this week, Massa said. As previously announced, the agreement establishes tax exemptions for participating companies. The Economy Ministry aims for businesses to reduce spending and therefore cap price rises at 5% a month.
Private medicine services price increases will be suspended for the next 90 days, for all homes with a monthly income of below AR$2,000,000.
The July inflation rate was 6.3%, according to the National Institute for Statistics and Census (INDEC). However, consultants expect double-digit inflation of around 10-15% in August after the uncertainty caused by the primary election results.