Argentina's stats office, Indec failed on Wednesday to deliver the country's poverty and indigence rates due to “methodological” reasons, the head of ministers explained on Thursday morning adding the measurement of the basic basket “differs totally” from CPI’s calculations. His comments triggered a cataract of criticisms.
“When the poverty and indigence index is released again it will be because the methodological problems have been resolved,” Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich said in his daily message to the press at the government house.
On Wednesday, Argentina's National Statistics and Census Institute (INDEC) at last moment postponed the release of figures from the Household Survey, which includes key data regarding poverty and indigence.
“The food basket and the total basket have totally different calculation methods,” Capitanich said and pointed out that the new measurement of the CPI (Consumers Price Index) involves now “all the country”.
The government of Argentina has been forced to modify what the International Monetary Fund called an “inaccurate provision of the CPI-GBA and GDP data,” and thus launched a new CPI back in February.
However Wednesday's cancelling and Thursday's explanations by Capitanich only made criticisms even more intense, shameful and contradictory, arguing that the real reason is that the indigence and poverty indexes, under the new methodology, will soar several times probably somewhere between 20 and 30%.
Most probably with the new inflation and basic basket indexes considered, the alleged 5% poverty rate, as in the latest official Indec release, December 2013, will be in the range of 20 to 30.9%, said Victor Becker a former head of Indec.
The head of the Argentine Social Debt Observatory from the Catholic University, Agustin Salvia, estimated that poverty and indigence in Argentina is closer to 25% and 5% respectively, following on data collected since the last release from December 2012.
Graciela Bevacqua, also a former head of Indec, sacked by the Kirchner couple said that the suspension was 'shameful' and it's not a question of methodology, but of data. According to her estimates the basic food basket in Argentina for a family of four last March was 3.330 Pesos (over 400 dollars) and the total basked, 7.525 Pesos (plus 950 dollars).