Milei promises to lower taxes, expand May Pact after Ley Bases approval

The president appeared at a rally in Córdoba to commemorate a new anniversary of the May Revolution

Javier Milei pledged to expand the May Pact with provincial governors and lower taxes once Congress approves the Ley Bases and the fiscal package. The president made these statements in a speech given in Córdoba to commemorate the 114th anniversary of the May Revolution that bore the country’s first constitutional government in 1810.

“I come here to propose a new dream,” Milei said while addressing a crowd of supporters in front of the city’s Cabildo, paraphrasing a historic phrase by late Peronist President Néstor Kirchner. “To become a new generation that will make the noise of broken chains thunder and inaugurate a new era of glory for our nation,” he added, quoting the country’s national anthem.

Saturday’s rally was originally envisioned as a meeting where Argentina’s provincial governors and the president would sign a so-called “May Pact,” a 10-point proposal including tax reform and mandatory fiscal balance in all provinces. 

However, since Congress has not yet approved the Ley Bases, also known as the omnibus bill — a non-negotiable condition to signing the agreement —, the president said that the May Pact would be signed later in the year. The only present governor at the event was Córdoba’s Martín Llaryora.

Milei not only reiterated his commitment to getting the May Pact done, but added that, once formalized, he intends to expand its reach by creating what he called the “May Council.” Said council would be made up of representatives from the executive branch and provincial governments, as well as senators, deputies, trade union organizations, and businesspeople. 

Its task, he added, would be to write bills to flesh out the May Pact.

The president also pledged to lower taxes, starting with the PAIS tax he called a “distorting tax that threatens production and economic growth.” His supporters chanted “freedom, freedom, freedom” immediately after.

The PAIS tax is applied to most operations in U.S. dollars. Created by Alberto Fernández’s administration, the current government raised it to 17.5% for purchasing imported goods and services, and 30% for purchases of the greenback for saving purposes.

Milei acknowledged that the latest months have been “difficult for everyone,” but tried to put a positive spin on things by claiming that Economy Minister Luis Caputo is taming inflation, currently running at 290% a year. Inflation in April was 8.8%.

The president arrived in Córdoba amid a crisis in his cabinet. His Chief of Staff, Nicolás Posse, is rumored to be on his way out after he was not seen at the Luna Park stadium for the presentation of Milei’s book on Wednesday. Posse, however, was present in Córdoba.

Members of unions and left-wing parties protested against Milei’s visit in downtown Córdoba, which led to the police throwing tear gas and firing rubber bullets. Two demonstrators were arrested and two journalists from the La Voz del Interior newspaper were reached by tear gas.

Milei finished his speech by asking God bless Argentines, and that “heavenly forces” accompany them before shouting out his trademark phrase: “Long live freedom, dammit!”


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