The Chamber of Deputies begins the preparations for one of the most critical debates of the remainder of the parliamentary year: the treatment of the 2023 Budget. The president of the body, Cecilia Moreau, summoned for today the representatives of all the legislative blocks in search of agree on the guidelines of how the discussion on the calculation of income and expenses of the National State will be carried out and where these economic resources will be allocated in the last year of the mandate of President Alberto Fernández. The text of the project prepared by the Minister of Economy, Sergio Massa, entered the Lower House last Thursday and it is estimated that he will defend it before the Budget Commission in the first days of October. All in the midst of the expectation and tension generated by the precedent of last year, when the opposition blocked and left the national government without the 2022 Budget.
The president of the Chamber summoned all the heads of blocks to the meeting that will take place in the premises of the Presidency of the Chamber starting at 4:00 p.m., with the aim of beginning to outline how the treatment of the Budget will be carried out in Deputies. Moreau will be at the meeting together with the head of the Frente de Todos caucus, Germán Martínez, and the parliamentary secretary Paula Penacca. Also present at the meeting will be the authorities of the Budget and Finance Commission, chaired by the pro-government deputy Carlos Heller.
According to parliamentary sources and the Ministry of Economy itself, they confirmed to PageI12 that Massa plans to attend in the first days of October to present and defend his project. This will be one of the points that will be on the table today at the meeting of the block chiefs. As well as the schedule for the presentations of the main officials of the Ministry of Economy before the Budget Commission. Like that of the Secretary of the Treasury, Raúl Rigo –who also accompanied the management of Martín Guzmán– and the Secretaries of Agriculture, Juan José Bahillo; of Production, José de Mendiguren; and Finance, Eduardo Setti, among others.
The economic projections elaborated by Massa estimate for the year 2023 an inflation of 60 percent; GDP growth of 2 percent, a primary fiscal deficit equivalent to 1.9 points of GDP and a financial deficit (including debt interest payments) of 3.9 points, and a foreign trade surplus of 12.3 billion Dollars. The average exchange rate for the year would be 219 pesos per dollar, and the corresponding rate at the end of the year would be 269 pesos.
The minister also closely followed the last session of the lower house in which the ruling party managed to turn into law the Fiscal Consensus that the Government signed with the provinces and the partial sanction of the extension of national taxes that expire at the end of this year, in which Together for Change voted divided. These are the income tax, personal assets, credits and debits in bank accounts (check tax), the monotax, on the capital of cooperatives and the additional tax on the final sale of cigarettes. Although the approval of the Senate is still pending, all of them are in the calculation base of the Budget for next year.
In the opposition there were also preparations to face the Budget debate. On Tuesday of last week -two days before the bill entered the Lower House- economists from all the parties that make up the JxC opposition alliance and all its deputies who make up the Budget and Treasury to discuss its legislative strategy. The meeting was silent. Before the consultation of PageI12 They dodged definitions and hid behind the fact that “they had not yet read” the project that the Government would deliver.