ARGENTINA: “HOMELAND TAX” ON GREAT FORTUNES

ARGENTINA GETS READY TO FIGHT A VISIBLE ENEMY: THE GREAT FORTUNES – Argentina is setting out to make those on great wealth cover what it costs to save human life from the coranavirus.

The government of Alberto Fernández (elected Dec. 2019) wants a strong State to stop the further deterioration of human life in Argentina. He wants to mend an economy that Macrism left in dire straits, and in a crisis further worsened by the coronavirus. To bring the economy back from collapse and restore the health system, the Budget and Finance Commission is submitting to Congress the bill of the Frente de Todos (Kirchnerist Party) which slaps a “Homeland Tax” on the minority in Argentina that owns all the big fortunes.

The Inland Revenue Service (AFIP) has just revealed that 950 undeclared accounts of Argentinian billionaires are stashed away in tax havens abroad to the tune of $2.6 billion. Information such as this had already been provided by the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) in 2017. The Macri government had logically not cared, since on the contrary, he was using his four years to help the flight abroad of $88 billion, some from his family.  You are talking of huge fortunes. The government wants extraordinary tax income to mend the health system, to bring-in what is due, to rescue the economy from a recession that the coronavirus aggravates.

Spokespeople for these ultra-rich sectors around the oligarchy, the UIA (Argentine industrial union), Macri’s former economy minister Alfonso Prat Gay and the former woman Minister of Public Security Patricia Bullrich, already raise their hue and cry through Twitter and their hegemonic press. Yet the question of the enormous external debt is still to be dealt with, and that of the private financial and banking concentration. And the State must act to shore up the productive system in this period of coranavirus.

Like the coronavirus, the big fortunes have no borders and kill

Cristina Kirchner, the Vice President of the nation, requested and obtained from the Supreme Court of Justice the approbation that bills can be put through Congress via videoconferences due to lockdown. This way, projects like the one of taxing the big fortunes should receive the necessary constitutional guarantees.

One of the millionaires, the industrialist Paulo Rocca and owner of Techint (a large engineering and construction enterprise) ended up sacking 1,450 workers on ground of economic crisis. The Rocca family – for whom “the economy goes before all else” – perpetrates capitalist exploitation and disregard for human life well beyond the frontiers of Argentina.

Regarding this, Alberto Fernández said: “Let no one tell you that by taking care of the health of the people, we are neglecting the future of the people!” Everything indicates that important economic measures are going to be taken in Argentina soon,  starting with the “Homeland Tax” to be applied to the big fortunes – one good step to start with!

The other step is the declaration of the economy minister,  Martín Guzmán, who says that Argentina is not in a position to pay its debts to the IMF.  And will only do so in 2023. The government will request a three-year postponement period for the payment. It will want 5.4% off from the capital due, and 63% off the interests.

In the meeting President Alberto Fernandez held with all the governors and in the presence of Cristina Kirchner, he declared:  “As far as we are concerned, a sustainable debt is the one that we can pay without striking at the needs of the women and men of Argentina – which needs existed already in December, and have increased with the pandemic.”

The President added: “I want all of us to understand that we cross a very important bridge, and that this is the way we want to build [our] Argentina of the future. Maybe the opportunity has arrived to build another country, fairer, more supportive, more equal and truly more federal.”

From our correspondent in Argentina

Posadists Today, 16/04/2020