Deputies from the Front for All (FdT) today presented a bill that promotes the creation of a Universal Basic Wage (SBU) that protects the unemployed, workers in the informal economy and other sectors of the low-income population.
According to the initiative, the SBU “will be granted to people who are unemployed; work in the informal economy; are registered in category A of the Simplified Regime for Small Taxpayers or are registered in the Social Inclusion Regime and Promotion of Independent Work”.
The initiative was presented by the legislators Itaí Hagman, Natalia Zaracho, Leonardo Grosso and Federico Fagioli in a ceremony held in the Delia Parodi Hall of the Lower House, which was attended by the head of the FdT Deputies bloc, Germán Martínez, and the leader of the Movement of Excluded Workers (MTE) and the Confederation of Workers of the Popular Economy (CTEP), Juan Grabois, among other leaders.
When presenting the project, Hagman stressed that the initiative could cover some 9 million people who would receive a universal salary and maintained that it seeks to “eliminate indigence and value tasks that the labor market does not value.”
Although he said that the initiative will require “a significant amount” in fiscal matters, “this project is not unfeasible, it is possible to discuss how to finance it,” and pointed out that it is a “complementary” proposal with the development of the world of work.
Meanwhile, Martínez from Santa Fe supported the project, stressed that “the proposals always enrich the debate” and said that the initiative is in line with what President Alberto Fernández proposes “on production and work.”
“As much as they try to pigeonhole us, we are all members of the FdT: we come with different paths but it is important that each one can make their contribution and respectfully listen to us. Welcome is the debate to aspire to have a more inclusive Argentina”, pointed out the head of the FdT block.
In his turn, Fagioli, from the Front Patria Grande, asserted: “We cannot not establish redistributive policies or have 5 million Argentines below the poverty line,” pointing out that “it is necessary to advance in concrete policies like this one.”
For his part, the national deputy and former Minister of Social Development of the Nation, Daniel Arroyo, said he was “emphatically supporting this initiative” and maintained that the economic situation “is not going to settle itself, public policies like these are required,” considering that “it can be done in stages or by zones,” referring to the fiscal cost of the initiative.
Grosso, meanwhile, maintained that “the universal salary is part of a plan of struggle that the social movements have been giving.”
“We cannot look aside with how violent it is not to have a plate of food. Does anyone believe that a person queues two or three blocks in a dining room because they want to?” asked Zaracho, who pointed out that “we cannot look more to one side” and considered that “we must approach this from the human point of view”.
“We are going to continue working so that it comes out because they don’t tell me about it, I see it every day,” he added.
Supporting the project, Grabois maintained that “we have to look for a country model where all of us fit, which is what does not exist today. We are giving rationality to a discussion that the people who claim to represent rationality do not give it” and affirmed that “all these ideas of going from plans to work are a catchphrase.”
“What needs to be done is to go from work without rights to work with rights, from work with indigent income to good wages. Because there is work, what there isn’t is employment,” Grabois emphasized, assuring that “those who oppose this there are some who engage in right-wing populism who say things that they don’t even believe” and added: “There are some from the FDT who oppose it but I want them to explain why.”
National deputies Juan Carlos Alderete, Natalia Souto and Claudia Ormaechea also participated in the meeting, as well as leaders of the popular economy such as Esteban “Gringo” Castro, Secretary General of UTEP and Dina Sánchez, Deputy Secretary General of UTEP, as well as the National Senator Juliana Di Tullio, the Buenos Aires legislator, Ofelia Fernández; and the Director of Banco Nación, Claudio Lozano.
The objective of the initiative is, according to the foundations of the project, “to provide a response to the new post-pandemic Argentine labor reality through the expansion of social security and the promotion of employment.”
The proposal promotes the implementation of a Universal Basic Salary (SBU) “as a non-contributory monthly monetary benefit of national scope for low-income workers.”