Argentina's Milei pledges 'significant' tax cuts if congress approves reforms

  • World
  • Sunday, 26 May 2024

Argentina's President Javier Milei waves to supporters outside the Cabildo during the commemoration of the 214th anniversary of the May Revolution, in Cordoba, Argentina May 25, 2024. REUTERS/Leandro Bustamante Gomez

(Reuters) - Argentine President Javier Milei said on Saturday he would apply a "significant" tax reduction if Congress approves a bill to reduce state intervention in the economy.

In the midst of a prolonged economic crisis with high inflation, the president wants Congress to approve a package of economic reforms to boost investments.

"The national government will advance a significant reduction in taxes, starting with the country tax, a distorting tax," said Milei during an event in the province of Cordoba.

Milei had hoped to have his sprawling economic reform package already approved and to sign a pact with regional governors this month. That effort has been stalled by resistance in congress where he only controls a minority of seats.

His reform bill, ranging from plans to privatize state entities to moves to provide more incentives for business, made it through the lower house the second time it was proposed, and now needs Senate approval. It probably will undergo more revisions before a final vote.

The package is key to his plans to overhaul the embattled country's economy, with inflation near 300% and years of strict capital controls warping trade. The economy is also sinking into recession and he has instituted tough austerity measures.

On a recent visit to agricultural producers, the far-right president said he would cut the tax on agricultural exports, of which Argentina is a world leader.

The "Bases" bill, as Milei called it, was approved by the Chamber of Deputies but still faces hurdles in the Senate, which could approve it with reforms in the coming weeks.

(Reporting by Nicolas Misculin; Writing by Sarah Kinosian; Editing by David Gregorio)

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