Budget 2023: Axel Kicillof’s negotiations with Together for Change are bogged down

On Wednesday, the Buenos Aires government summoned mayors and legislators from Together for Change to find positions that allow progress in the legislative treatment of Budget 2023 and the Fiscal Tax Law, sent by the governor Axel Kicillof to the Legislature in the last days of October.

The meeting was chaired by the Chief of Staff, Martin Insaurralde, and the Minister of Finance, Pablo López. Lieutenant Governor Verónica Magario, the president of the Chamber of Deputies, Federico Otermín, and the legislators of the Frente de Todos: Teresa García, César Valicenti and Rubén Eslaiman also participated.

On the older side opposition coalition The present was given by the mayors of La Plata, Julio Garro (representing the communal chiefs of the PRO) and of Trenque Lauquen, Miguel Fernández, president of the Forum of Radical Mayors. In addition, the presidents of the legislative blocks Christian Gribaudo and Maximiliano Abad and the legislators Agustín Máspoli and Adrián Ureli participated.

At the end of the meeting, the mayor of La Plata described the meeting as “insufficient” and lacking in definitions. “What we are asking is for the 135 municipalities of the Province where residents of each locality live but who are from Buenos Aires”.

For his part, in dialogue with mdz, Miguel Fernández described the meeting as “positive”. He remarked that during the meeting they substantiated “in depth” the arguments for the $82 billion requested for the Municipal Infrastructure and Security Funds. “We were clear, we argued well where the numbers of what we ask for come from. We are discussing, trying to find agreements”.

The communal chief of Trenque Lauquen maintained: “Here there is a clear conceptual question. What the mayors are asking for are the works that the neighbors need; he is supposed to governor also wants to reach those same neighbors with the works they need and with the resources that the Province have. With which I see that the objectives of the mayors, their own and others, are aligned with those of the governor. Then yes kicillof he wants to succeed with his infrastructure plan, he has to understand the mayors who are the ones who guarantee the rapid execution of the works”.

Likewise, Fernández said that the Government it must guarantee the quick and simple approval of the projects and accelerate the delivery of funds to carry out the works, “because if not, correction and adjustment mechanisms must be found, so that the resources do not lose value in the face of inflation and can be executed the budgeted works.

Regarding the debt that the administration kicillof has with the municipalities for the FIM (Municipal Infrastructure Fund) of the last two years, he said: “There is a commitment to cancel those debts. Today the discussion is not focused on those debts. In discussion with officials of the provincial government The debts of the Buenos Aires public administration agencies (IPS and IOMA, among others) with the municipalities were not left out.

“I particularly introduced the issue of the possibility that part of the Infrastructure Funds be allocated to the environment. It is an issue that has always been difficult and is aligned with an environmental policy that the governor wants to carry on”, added Fernández.

However, he was concerned about the way in which the Government of the Province will distribute the CUD (Unique Distribution Coefficient) for next year: “The mayors need to be informed of the coefficient that we will receive in the CUD. Without this data it is very difficult to be able to budget the municipality. We do not know how they will get the coefficient for next year. The Census was carried out in May, there are still no data and the population is one of the indicators to use. Last year the CUD was an average, which caused very important distortions between the municipalities. A small change in the CUD has a much greater impact on the municipalities than the Infrastructure Fund”, Fernández stated.

On the other hand, the Head of the Forum of White Beret Mayors, denied that the ruling party has conditioned them with the approval of the reform of the Banco Provincia pension system to the delivery of the funds they request for works: “There was no type of pressure nor conditioning of Government. That goes through a separate agreement, they are different issues. Honestly, he was not at the discussion table.

Regarding the approval of the Buenos Aires budget, Fernández was hopeful of reaching an agreement: “I am optimistic by nature. To turn pale, let’s watch the match between Saudi Arabia and Argentina again, it’s like saying we’re going to watch it again to see where we failed. What I am saying is that we must be careful with words (in clear allusion to the statements by Julio Garro who said that the meeting had been insufficient), we are in a stage of negotiation. But I insist, I do not see a negotiation that for the moment has derailed, it is taking time. The times are handled by each one, but the one who needs the Budget He is the governor.”

The truth is that next week they meet again and the mayors of Together for Change They expect a favorable response or a minimum that is close to their claims, updates for inflation, the payment of arrears and, fundamentally, in an election year, the funds they request for works and security.

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