Senate Budget Committee chairman Carlos Caserio (Frente de Todos-Córdoba) said on Tuesday that the income tax bill recently approved in the lower house could count on plain sailing in the Senate.
Caserio estimated that the 'Ganancias' reform bill would be on the upper house floor next Tuesday or Wednesday following committee proceedings in the previous week.
The Frente de Todos senator assured that during the Mauricio Macri presidency (2015-2019) the workers above the tax floor rose from 12.2 to 23 percent "and now they speak as if everything we’re doing were small potatoes and in reality only seven percent will still be taxed."
"Macri talked a lot about income tax during his electoral campaign, saying it would disappear," indicated Caserio, pointing the "contradiction" of the opposition [mainly Juntos por el Cambio] who "do no show their face to discuss the issue."
In radio statements Caserio further said that his forecast of smooth Senate passage was based on consensus across the political spectrum over the need to relieve middle-class pockets after three years of economic crisis.
In the eyes of the Córdoba senator, this bill is "an extraordinary advance," given that this year the tax was going to be paid by two million people but with the amended floor will now only be paid by 770,000 workers and pensioners with gross earnings topping 150,000 pesos.
Following the almost unanimous approval (241 votes in favour with three abstentions) by the Chamber of Deputies in a marathon weekend session, the bills passed to the Senate for consideration by the Budget Committee under Caserio and the Labour and Social Welfare Committee chaired by Daniel Lovera (Frente de Todos-La Pampa) on Tuesday afternoon.
Labour Minister Claudio Moroni and Tax Policy Secretary Roberto Arias were both summoned to comment on the bills in virtual form.
If approved, the reform would see the tax base for ganancias pass from 22 percent to 7 percent of the country's 20 million workers.
To help plug the gap of lost income tax revenue, Argentina is targeting rich citizens. The nation’s wealthy have until April 16 to pay a one-time “extraordinary contribution” derided by business chambers as anti-competitive. A judge recently ruled in favour of one citizen seeking to avoid the tax.