Argentina to tax super-rich to fund Covid-19 response

8 Dec 20

Argentina will introduce a tax on the wealthiest 0.8% of its population to pay for its pandemic spending.

The one-off tax on those with assets worth more than 200 million pesos (£1.8m) – 3.5% on wealth in the country and 5.25% on wealth abroad – is expected to hit 12,000 people and raise 300 billion pesos (£2.7bn).

The money raised will be spent on medical supplies, relief for small and medium-sized businesses, scholarships for students and natural gas projects.

The vote was passed by 42 votes to 26 in the senate.

President Alberto Fernández said the move “speaks of the responsibility we must have to move forward and grow” during the crisis.

In October, Argentina became the fifth country in the world to record one million confirmed cases of Covid-19, at the time being the smallest country to do so.

Lockdown measures hit the economy, which had already been in recession since 2018.

The government reached a debt-restructuring deal in August after it defaulted earlier in the year for the third time this millennium.

Argentina’s public debt-to-GDP is expected to increase to around 110% this year, after reaching 98% in 2019, partly due to the drop in output caused by the pandemic.

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