Argentine government announces plans to eliminate primary fiscal deficit next year

Measures include taxes on exports and are accompanied by a reduction in the number of cabinet ministers.

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The Argentine government this morning announced policies to eliminate the country’s primary fiscal deficit next year. The announcement was accompanied by changes to the cabinet of ministers, with a number of ministries being converted to secretariats of state.

“We have to continue making every effort to balance the state's accounts,” said President Macri in a recorded video address, announcing that in order to help reduce the country’s fiscal deficit, Argentina will place taxes on exporters. “This is a process, and to cover what is missing during this transition, which has become an emergency, we are going to have to ask those who have the greatest resources to contribute.”

At a press conference shortly afterwards, Argentine Economy Minister, Nicolás Dujovne, announced the package of measures aimed at eliminating the country’s primary deficit in 2019. Dujovne said that the target is the only feasible way to get back on the track of growth and poverty reduction.

The package includes a set of measures to cut expenditure in several areas of government, transfer subsidies to provinces and levy taxes on exports, with a special regime for primary goods.

“In 2019, instead of reaching our original fiscal target of 1.3% of GDP, we will achieve fiscal balance, before interest payments. This means that we will be able to save an extra USD 6 billion,” Dujovne said. “In 2020, instead of achieving gross fiscal balance, we will have a primary fiscal surplus amounting to 1% of the GDP, thus saving another USD 5.2 billion,” he added.

Mr Dujovne flies to Washington DC this evening to meet with the IMF to renegotiate the terms of the agreement that was announced in June this year. “This will allow us to definitively clear any doubt about our financing in 2019,” said President Macri.

“Today we have a government that faces realities without hiding from them, honestly, with an open mind, ready to talk to everyone and without fear of paying the costs of taking charge of these realities,” added the president in his video address, confirming that with the changes the government will continue to reinforce important social welfare programmes.

The announcements this morning were accompanied by a reduction in the number of government ministries. The Ministries of Environment and Sustainable Development, Energy and Mining, Tourism, Labour, Agribusiness, Health, Culture and Science, and Technology will become Secretariats of State headed by Secretaries. The Secretaries of Tourism and Environment, and of Sustainable Development will report directly to the President.

Cabinet of Ministers of the Argentine Republic

Chief of the Cabinet of Ministers -- Marcos Peña

  • Deputy Chief of the Cabinet of Ministers – Andrés Ibarra

Interior, Public Works and Housing - Rogelio Frigerio

Economy - Nicolás Dujovne

  • Secretary of Energy - Javier Iguacel

Foreign Affairs – Jorge Faurie

Defence - Oscar Aguad

Security - Patricia Bullrich

Justice - Germán Garavano

Transport - Guillermo Dietrich

Production and Labour - Dante Sica

  • Secretary of Labour, Employment and Social Security, Jorge Triaca
  • Secretary of Agribusiness, Luis Miguel Etchevehere

Health and Social Development - Carolina Stanley

  • Secretary of Health, Adolfo Rubinstein

Education, Culture and Science and Technology - Alejandro Finocchiaro

  • Secretary of Culture - Pablo Avelluto
  • Secretary of Science and Technology - Lino Barañao


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Economy Minister Nicolás Dujovne’s press conference can be viewed here:


Argentine government announces plans to eliminate primary fiscal deficit next year