The Minister of Economy and Finance, Azucena Arbeleche, presented the Accountability before the Committee on Budget and Finance of the Senate, where he defended the allocation of resources for the last year of government of the President Luis Lacalle Pou, amid criticism from the opposition and with various controversies along the way.
Accompanied by her team MEF and the President of the Central Bank of Uruguay (BCU), Diego Labat, arbeleche ratified that the inflation will continue within the target range for the next 24 months and projected growth in economic activity in the order of 1.3% for 2023, arguing about the text already approved in Deputies.
The minister pointed out in the Parliament that this lower expected inflation, together with lower taxes, “helps to have a greater purchasing power on the part of workers, pensioners and retirees.” And he stressed that “it is the focus that we have had from the economic policy to take care of the purchasing power of citizens.”
During her speech, the chief valued that there is “an economy growing in line with estimates.” Specifically, he highlighted “a growth of 4.9%, a labor market with a strong recovery with 40,000 jobs created and a recovery of the actual salary which starts at the end of last year.
Looking ahead to what’s to come, arbeleche referred to the “strong drought history that went through the entire country” and for this reason he projected “an economic growth of around 1.3%”. In addition, regarding employment, he estimated a rise in the actual salary and a generation older employment. “As of June of this year, if compared to the pre-pandemic, we have 16,000 more jobs,” he said.
Crosses with the opposition
Referring to opposition criticism, the head of the MEF He noted: “It was not clear to us whether it was being criticized because we had to spend more or we had to spend less.” In turn, he did not give details regarding the reassignments that he requests Town meeting noting that this “is in the hands of the commission of the Senate and then in the hands of the plenary”.
“What I can say is that we show a very clear graph where spending increases in every year compared to what it was in 2019. And everything is within the fiscal rule,” he said. Arbeleche.
From the broad front, the senator Charles Carrera Loyal questioned: “According to the economic team, we live in wonderland, but the reality is very different.” Specifically, he argued that when compared to 2019 indicators, “child poverty increased, purchasing power of salaries and pensions was lost, and the budget for health, housing, and education was cut.”
“In turn, the fiscal deficit It remains the same as in 2019, but the public debt increased by 13,000 million dollars”, he criticized. Loyal Career, who added: “In short, as the saying goes ‘the numbers do not lie, those who make the numbers lie'”.