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Social Plans versus Universal Basic Salary: the fight between Alberto Fernández and Cristina Kirchner for control of the street in the elections

In December, a few weeks after the electoral beating from the opposition, the worsening of the fracture in the ruling party and what the Casa Rosada understood as a change of cycle in social policies, the Government implemented two measures that changed the climate of the relationship with social organizations: it closed the list of beneficiaries of the Empower Work plan -the main financing channel for these organizations- and opened the possibility that the people enrolled in that program could leave the structure that contained them to receive that plan, technically called Executing Units, and migrate to another structure without losing that benefit.

Until this month 13% of the beneficiaries had asked to migrate from one executing unit to another and John Zabaletathe minister of Social development, believes that figure could be multiplied if the Government mounts a publicity campaign to spread the possibility of taking the plan elsewhere. With 1,271,215 beneficiariesthis social plan is the territory of the greatest dispute between the different instances of the State and social organizations: other benefits, such as the Universal Child Allowance or the Single Pension for Older Adults are distributed directly, without the intervention of intermediaries.

The Government’s idea is that this program remains frozen and that it even loses beneficiaries through crossings with the AFIP, Anses, automobile and property registries databases. Every month, about six thousand people are unsubscribed, who stop receiving the Boost Work because from some of these bases it appears that they got a job, that they bought a car less than ten years old or that they bought a property, among other novelties that run them off the register.

The main contender for this plan were the organizations of the classist left gathered in the Piquetera Unity Bloc. That changed this week, when Cristina Kirchner declared war on that same program of the Ministry of Social Development, but making the Evita Movement the enemy, the main street support that President Alberto Fernández has today.

Cristina does not want to discipline the leftist picketers: what she is proposing – so far in private – is the elimination of all social plans and their replacement by a Universal Basic Salary (SBU) that eliminates any kind of intermediation between the beneficiary and the State. His plan is to start from the list of beneficiaries of the Universal Child Allowance (AUH) and reach with the Basic Salary at least those who received the IFE during the pandemic. Based on an idea of John Grabois, Cristina wants 7.5 million people to receive each month the equivalent of the indigence basket, valued at almost 14,000 pesos.

Cristina even wants the AUH to continue to exist and coexist with the SBU, but to eliminate the entire family of social plans of the national government such as the Enhance Work, the Food Card and the Argentina Hace. To put it another way: her idea is to take support away from all social organizations, especially the Evita Movement. “The Evita Movement says that all these people are part of what they call ‘the popular economy’. For us that is a verse. There is no popular economy. Economy there is only one and it is the one that all economically active people know, “one of the leaders of La Cámpora told Clarín that he knows the details of what Cristina wants in that field.

In the Government they anticipate that the State has no way of obtaining financing for a plan of these characteristics. Martin Guzman He already told Zabaleta at the end of last year that an idea of ​​that style is not possible to finance. Once again, La Cámpora has an answer for this prevention. “Let’s look because with the sane it goes more or less. We have to see who we are going to ponder as companions and companions who lead, to try to cross that border because if not, they tell us ‘you can’t’ here with the Universal Basic Salary or ‘no, fiscally it can’t be done. Let people die of hunger, because fiscally…’ I say: what the hell? Let’s look to see where we got itwho do we have to fight with, where do we have to go to resolve this situation,” he said last week Andres “Crow” Larroqueone of the heads of La Cámpora and Minister of Community Development of the province of Buenos Aires.

The vice president wants to put this issue at the center of next year’s presidential replacement campaign. Again Larroque explained it in a more stark way. “We are in discount time, if we do not react, because the elections are already, if it was not clear, the only way, and I say it again, that we have a chance (…) If we do not generate events of political magnitude that pierce the mediatic siege… Everyone found out about the AUH”, explained the Axel Kicillof official.

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