Two months after the start of the debate at the Frente de Todos on promoting measures to make wages recover, the Government continues to delay defining a boost this year for workers whose incomes remain arrears In the face of inflation that in October has accumulated 88% on an annual basis. Sergio Massa said this Sunday that he is still evaluating it, but still did not confirm when or how it will implement it.
“It is a two-way path: having a very firm conduct in the fight against inflation and very firm in recovering the parity income, i.e. the path we have to take over a 12-month period, can be part of it or exclude it (a fixed amount or a bonus), see when the best time is,” said the Minister of Economy in an interview with Futurock, in which he said that parities will remain “open” and there will be tools to “add” improvements.
In this sense, he specified that the benefit It is foreseen for the “private, mono-tax and independent sector”. “Many of these sectors have lost income because they are victims of inflation,” he said. And you acknowledged that income recovery is “the biggest debt” of the coalition promoted by Cristina Kirchner, which in a few weeks will celebrate three years since coming to power, without having managed to recover the wage level prior to December 2019.
Right now, the minister faces cross pressure. On the one hand, Kirchnerism seeks a general increase through a fixed sum for lagged parity workers. Near the vice president they say so “You have to settle a fixed sum before December, otherwise it doesn’t make sense anymore.” And some unions aligned with La Cámpora are pushing for wage increases of 111% a year. The UOM will resume the discussion on Tuesday.
Massa estimates that since 2015 salaries have lost between 24 and 26 points. Hernán Letcher, one of the economists advising the head of the Senate, assured on Twitter that a fixed sum of $25,000 allows for a 16.7% improvement in real wages, 7.1% above the level left by the Mauricio administration Macri in 2019, and an increase of 46,500 dollars would recover the purchasing power of 2015.
On the other, the head of the Treasury firm with the president, the minister of labor and the CGT, who reject an increase by decree and prefer to define it in wage negotiations. Even the mayors of municipalities and chambers such as the UIA. Meanwhile, on Wednesday Cristina Kirchner and her age group decided in Deputies, the massist Cecilia Moreau award a lump sum of $30,000 to congressional employees. Massa had already done it in July.
The minister is also suspicious of the program with the IMF. While assuring that there are no “conditions”, the agency warned in its latest report that “wage expenditure” must be “limited” and its boss in Bali has asked to maintain “fiscal discipline”. In this context, the official excluded the public sector from the benefit, stressing that “there has been a recovery of income” with the $30,000 year-end bonus agreed in September with state workers.
The minimum wage increase that will begin discussions this Tuesday in the tripartite council is usually a reason for tussle with the Palazzo delle Finanze. Today, the minimum wage, at $57,900, piles up an 81% increase since last October, below the year-over-year increase in the basket of poverty and destitution (93.1% and 100.8%). Its update also impacts the Empower Work program, whose salaries are half the minimum wage.
Massa’s main bet is to lower inflation. Although in October it rose to 6.3% monthly after two consecutive months of decline from the record of 7.4% in August, the minister expects a decline in October and November to arrive in April with “a 3 advantage”. The expectation is that the price freeze implemented 10 days ago will begin to take effect, a measure called for by Kirchnerism.
The pockets, on the other hand, continue to show signs of wear. Owing to inflation, supermarket sales fell an average of 4.5% across the country in October, according to consultancy firm Scentia. And another storm began to form on the horizon: the surge in financial dollars and the import restrictions could add further pressure on prices.