May 23, 2013
Opposition praises lift on subsidies but remains cautious
Opposition leaders celebrated the Government’s decision to lift subsidies on public services and agreed that it was both “necessary and a decision that had to be made now.”
On his Twitter account, Civic Coalition lawmaker and former Central Bank Governor Alfonso Prat Gay said that the decision was “a farewell to the cheap dollar and frozen rates.”
“Some stories are no longer believable,” he tweeted.
“We’ve been asking for the elimination of subsidies for the upper classes for years. Finally! Now let’s discuss how we’re going to spend that money,” the economist said.
He then stated that the budget plan for 2012 that the Government sent to Congress “suggested a 20 percent rate on subsidies. Why can’t they make up their minds?”
Former Economy minister Ricardo López Murphy also said he was in favour of the decision.
“This is a good sign, and it shows that the Government has begun to acknowledge that their model needs some corrections,” he tweeted.
PRO lawmaker and economist Jorge Triaca assured that the measure “is a way to acknowledge that their policy on subsidies was unfair and pointless.”
“We hope the adjustment beginning today doesn’t affect the most vulnerable sectors of the population and ends up with them paying for the mistakes of the Government’s staff,” he concluded.
Eduardo Macaluse, the head of the Unión Popular caucus said the new measure “shines some light on who have been the true beneficiaries of this government model.”
“If, like Planning Minister Julio De Vido says, lifting the subsidies doesn’t cause any modifications on the utility rates, it’s clear that what they have been subsidizing for years was corporate profit, and it was being done with our Money,” he accused.
After releasing a written statement, Macaluse added that “if they want to create a committee to audit the cost of subsidized services, then we should ask ourselves how it was possible for them to subsidize private corporations with millions of pesos since 2003, without having any knowledge of the costs structures for every sectors and for every one of the subsidized companies.”