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In a surprising move, Argentine members of Congress freeze their salaries and allowances for 180 days

Saturday, December 28th 2019 - 09:49 UTC
Full article 7 comments

In a surprising decision and probably for the first time in Argentina history, the two chambers of Congress agreed to freeze their salaries for the next 180 days, that is until the end of June. Read full article

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  • Little J

    These latest decisions taken by Congress sound absolutely fantastic on paper and of course suggests that Congress will abide by the laws which they have enacted. However this same law was instituted in the times of Menem as President and Domingo Cavallo as Minister of Economy. Not only history but those personalities mentioned above have gone on record that in fact all those who had agreed to follow the letter of the law, were in fact given “payments under the counter” which were never accounted for or say “do as I decree but not as I do”. Therefore it should come as no surprise that the above “hand outs” will also be used in this case. After all the politicians are there to make $$$ and not to have their income “frozen” in the like manner of the pensioners who have no resources to have their legitimate claims settled according to the law, other than to accept that their incomes will be genuinely frozen for 180 days...................and remain at the will and whim of President Alberto Fernandez when, who and how much will they have their pensions increased during this period.

    Dec 28th, 2019 - 04:40 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Enrique Massot

    “...the Economic Emergency bill vote, which has meant a strong belt tightening for pensioners and child allowances...”

    Belt tightening? Rather, the story above includes false information.

    The Macri administration put in place a plan to update pensions that did not keep up with inflation, and as a result the retirees' income was seriously eroded. Macri's formula is suspended for 180 days and will be replaced by a new updating formula. If there is no agreement, then the previous formula will be reinstated.

    Alberto Fernandez promised to increase in priority the incomes of those at the bottom, and his Solidarity and Economic reactivation law is the instrument to start doing just that, by decree.

    “...other than to accept that their incomes will be genuinely frozen for 180 days,” says LJ above. FALSE. There is NO FREEZING of pensions. Stop the lies.


    No increases of electricity and gas for 180 days for residential, commercial and industrial customers, which will reduce the portion of income going to pay for those items.

    By agreement with the labs, the prices of medications will go down eight per cent -- same as above.

    Minimum retiree pensions go to 14,000 pesos in December, plus a 5,000 pesos bonus in December and another 5,000 pesos in January.

    As many as 70 per cent of retirees will see larger increases in their pensions every three months, while the 30 per cent in the upper amount levels will see smaller increases (no freezing though) in order to reduce the gap between lower and higher incomes.

    Meanwhile, as Little J attempts to do above, the now opposition mainstream media keeps spreading false news and demeaning opinion columns in a full-fledged offensive that started the day AF took office.

    They should have done more for the people during their four years in office -- they did not, and lost the election big time.

    Dec 30th, 2019 - 02:58 am - Link - Report abuse -2
  • DemonTree

    How much will those getting more than 14,000 Pesos see their pensions increase by? And are these the same private pensions that were earlier nationalised by CFK, putting returns at the mercy of the government?

    Dec 30th, 2019 - 09:36 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Enrique Massot

    DT

    The amount of the increases has not been announced yet. For the coming six months, increases will be determined by decree every three months. The criteria being to favour 70 per cent of the retirees in regard to the remaining 30 per cent that receives the higher pension amounts.

    “...putting returns at the mercy of the government?”

    Yes, those are the same pensions, privatized into the Administradora de Fondos de Jubilaciones y Pensiones (AFJP).

    Your question appears to suggest the returns, when administered privately, were not at the mercy of anyone. They were. The system had numerous flaws. Just as a sample:

    The AFJP charged commissions, which during their 14-year existence reached 12 billion US dollars and represented half of the AFJP total existing funds – 27 billion US dollars.

    During the private administration of the AFJP, some of the companies took the pension funds to cancel their own debts.

    In regard to the supposed competition that was going to make the AFJP more efficient, of 26 companies that started in 1994, in 2008 only 10 remained.

    Are state-administered pensions free of flaws? Not, of course. However, privatizing a service with a captive customer base is not be the best way to fix those flaws.

    Dec 30th, 2019 - 10:23 pm - Link - Report abuse -2
  • DemonTree

    I assume Canada is like the UK, in that you get a basic pension from the government, and most people also pay into an employer or private pension? Thus not putting all your eggs in one basket. But I think that's not true in Argentina? Workers who earned more paid in more with the promise of higher returns when they retired. And most people quite reasonably don't trust the government - Macri cut pensions, now Fernandez is effectively cutting at least some of them. CFK could have allowed people to choose whether to keep their private pension or move to a state administered one, but she wanted the money...

    Dec 31st, 2019 - 05:12 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • Little J

    Demon Tree

    The method suggested by you was effectively in place up to some years back. It lasted about 10 years and was known as the AFJP the abbreviated name in Spanish.Subsequently the Private Pensions were “nationalized” by one of the Kirchner governments. Don't forget that the Pension Fund - or ANSES as it's known - is vast resource of very ready to hand cash to which the government in power can and do resort to, giving the ANSES a bunch of worthless IOU's or similar documents in return.
    Hence the pensioners funds are diverted to other uses and not used to pay/increase our pensions, thus we the pensioners remain holding the can. I won a law suit against the ANSES about 18 months back, due to the “erronoeus” settlement of my monthly pension. Interesting to note there has been hundreds if not of thousands law suits brought against them for the same reasons and to the best of my knowledge not one has been awarded to the ANSES. We agreed on the settlement and all documents were duly signed by both parties, all strictly in accordance with the prevailing regulations. The law establishes that settlement has to take place within 90 working days. Guess what? I'm still waiting for the settlement to be paid in Argentine Pesos when the RofE was around $20 to the USD. Today it's around $63,00 to the USD!!! Guess who takes the loss?? and which will be the final RofE applicable when the ANSES finally manage to get round to settling my claim??................who knows.!!. Leave you to work out the financial loss this means to all pensioners in a similar situation to mine.

    Jan 01st, 2020 - 12:08 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    LJ
    In that case there is really no excuse for nationalising them. Both private and government control have costs and risks but people should have been free to choose which they preferred. Besides, it's just another reason not to trust the government when the pension fund you contributed to can be seized for other uses. And IMO this lack of trust just adds to the problems in Argentina.

    Unfortunately there's not much you can do when the government refuses to pay you what they owe. That sucks.

    Jan 01st, 2020 - 11:01 pm - Link - Report abuse 0

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