Argentine government announces increase in water, electricity and gas tariffs

The Argentine government announced a series of adjustments to subsidized items in the country, which is known locally as “tarifazo”. Water, electricity and gas bills are among the elements affected, in a move that was expected for some time and that is part of the context of the country’s negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The announcement was made by the Energy Secretary of Argentina, Flávia Royón. According to her, the country currently has 4.5 million homes benefiting from subsidies for electricity and 3.5 million in the program for gas.

“This tariff update plan is very important in fiscal terms, but it is also a much fairer subsidy distribution plan,” he said.

The rise in the bills will reach up to 150%, and puts pressure on the new Minister of Economy, Sérgio Massa, who faces an inflation of 70% in the annual comparison and which is projected to reach 90% by the end of 2022. The president of AySA , the company responsible for water supply, Malena Galmarini, reinforced Royón, and said that there is not a “tariff increase, but a redistribution of subsidies”.

Part of the homes will continue to have benefits, something that will take into account the income of each family. The cuts will be applied within the next few months, gradually. The withdrawal of subsidies is seen as essential for the reduction of the primary deficit that is part of the agreement with the IMF.

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