To appease the citizen roar, President Piñera announced a “social agenda” that includes a series of measures aimed at improving the quality of life of the most vulnerable groups of the population. Subsidy to public transport, increase in pensions, lower drug prices, guaranteed minimum income for full-time workers, insurance for catastrophic diseases, stabilization of electricity tariff prices, more resources for lower-income municipalities, among others. This will increase the pressure on a tight fiscal wallet and it is not clear that it addresses the main causes of discontent.
One of the main omissions of this social agenda is that it lacks measures to address the impunity with which different forms of fraud and corruption have been deployed for years. This is one of the main forces that has mobilized the thousands of people who have demonstrated across the country. The scandals that for years have starred actors in the political, business, religious world and some branches of our armed forces have been the fuel for the social outburst we have observed these days. By the way they are not all, but if there have been many who have used their position of power at the expense of those who should have served and protected.
The problem is not only inequality, but how privilege is accessed. In fact, few bother with the salaries of our football players participating in the European leagues, but are regarded as heroes. People understand that in a developing country like ours, cake is small and not enough for everyone, but when the handout stakes are left with more than they are entitled to, the understanding is exhausted.
Proposals to reduce the allowances of parliamentarians and high salaries for public administration do not address the abuse of power, fraud and corruption that have filled the patience of the public. As a poster deployed by students from The U. Adolfo Ibáñez said: we live in a country of “prison for the poor, ethics classes for the rich”. This is despite the fact that the amounts involved and the damage to the public faith caused by different forms of corruption are considerably greater.
The benevolence of the subsidies and gestures of charity that we have witnessed will not quenk the thirst for justice of our society. Discounting the opportunism of those who seek to bring political and economic advantages from the current context, today it is necessary that everyone receives his own. Doing so does not require opening the wallet, but the political will of those who would see their privileges diminished. This would also help to strengthen public faith, trust in institutions and make the business environment more attractive to foreign investors. Unfortunately, it’s easier to open the wallet.
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