The Chilean government of President Gabriel Boric Font Thursday announced a new series of measures to mitigate the effects of inflation on the population.
The plan foresees the increase of allowances to low-income families from CLP$ 60,000 (US$ 71.31) to CLP$ 120,000 (US$ 142.62) that will go directly into the pockets of 1.4 million families. Additional CLP$ 13,500 (around US$ 16) per child or person in a situation of dependency are planned for a period of eight months, it was reported.
Other arrangements for discounts on the retail price of over 6,900 medicines have been reached, the Chilean authorities announced.
The government also expects to allocate CLP$ 50 billion (US$ 59.42 million) credits for the construction sector to keep the labor market active amidst increasing prices.
The Boric administration also pledged to extend to 50,000 children in public schools the existing program to guarantee more than one meal a day.
The announcements were made almost simultaneously to a sharp drop in the President's approval rating. Boric insisted on launching the new measures that the main challenge facing the country was to increase the purchasing power of families while admitting that the mood of the population has changed.
Now, it is true that today in Chile there are other immediate priorities, different from those of 2019: security and the rising cost of living, a high inflation of which the country had no memory, caused by internal and external factors, such as the war in Ukraine and the closure of China. And that changed the mood of the population, which evidently holds those in power responsible, Boric said in an interview with Folha de Sao Paulo earlier this month during his trip to Brazil to attend Luiz Inàcio Lula Da Silva's inauguration.
Regarding his failure at the plebiscite seeking to introduce a new constitution to replace the current one drafted under dictator Augusto Pinochet in 1980, Boric acknowledged that the defeat in the plebiscite was clear, forceful and fully recognized by us.
The majority of Chileans want transformation, but without losing what has already been achieved. And they were very uncertain about what was being proposed. Therefore, it is necessary to move forward with more certainty based on what we have already achieved, he added.
If all goes well and the people of Chile so wish, we will have a new Constitution by the end of this year, Boric also said. We wanted a more direct version of democracy. But well, we already had the result of the plebiscite. And we could not insist on exactly the same thing, he went on while denying the plebiscite's results were proof of the people disapproving of his administration, which had been in office for just six months.
Now, it is true that today in Chile there are other immediate priorities, different from those of 2019: security and the rising cost of living, a high inflation of which the country had no memory, caused by internal and external factors, such as the war in Ukraine and the closure of China, Boric elaborated. If we are not responsible for the causes, we are responsible for dealing with their consequences, he conceded.