With a clear focus on job creation and economic recovery, President Sebastián Piñera presented on Tuesday night the main guidelines of the 2021 Budget to be processed by the National Congress.
“The 2021 Budget will be the budget of employment and recovery to be able to create jobs, meet the main needs of Chileans, revive the economy and put our country in full motion,” the representative said in a national chain detailing a 2021 era clearly marked by Covid-19 its havoc on the economy.
In terms of hard numbers, the plan envisages a total expenditure of $73,234 million, 9.5% more than this year and a 14.9% increase in public investment, and which also maintains this year’s fiscal momentum and public spending.
According to data known from government sources, by sector, the ministries with the highest budget are Education with $11,252,752 million, Work with $9,974.479 million and Health with $9,811,911
However, the ministries experiencing the greatest growth are Public Works, whose budget increases by 33.35%, Labour by 24.58% and Housing by 18.05%, in line with the reactivation emphasis that is intended to print to the 2021 era.
Also in this line the Budget “incorporates a significant boost to SMEs, through a Special Fund for SMEs and Tourism of US$120 million, which will allow us to strengthen subsidies, training, access to credit and working capital,” the ruler said.
In other attention-sensitive data, the Representative – who at various points in his speech spoke of us facing “times of adversity” – admitted that “this Budget means a structural deficit of 4.7% of GDP, the highest since the fiscal rule was created and will mean gross public debt that will grow to 36.4% of our Gross Domestic Product by the end of 2021.”
But the budget design also includes adjustments, which will surely have to speak during its processing in Congress. As the President advanced, a “rigorous review of the 700 government programs and all public spending items (…) also to eliminate and improve programs that were not delivering results to avoid duplication and make public spending more efficient, austere and transparent,” he said.
In Piñera’s view, “this is a very austere budget with those expenses that depart from the needs and priorities of the people, but generous with the resources to meet the true needs and priorities of Chilean families”.
The presentation began and ended with the Representative making a diagnosis of the current situation of covid-19 in Chile and the havoc caused in the economy, such as the loss “in a few months of 1.8 million jobs”.
The President spoke of us facing “times of adversity.” Although he warned that “we have been doing more than three months of improvement that have allowed us to reduce contagions,” he noted at the same time that “we should not lower our arms and neglect health. We must prepare to face regrowthes.”
He also promised that the era “contemplates additional resources to continue fighting the pandemic and to acquire vaccines in a timely manner,” and when the speech closes, he noted that “we are regaining our freedoms, we are meeting with our families and loved ones again, jobs are starting to grow, our economy is starting to rise, and Chile is getting back on track.”