Political Fact Checking VIII: Jackson and who would benefit from the credits for the middle class, and the somersaults of Desbordes and Lagos Weber for the withdrawal of AFP funds

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“Debt is the solution that the government proposes to the middle class that is already in debt. It seems that banks have their best ally in government”.

This was the statement that the deputy Giorgio Jackson He made a newscast (CNN) on Monday and it was replicated by the social networks of his party, the Democratic Revolution.

The allusion to banking is false, since it implies that this credit was granted by private banks and, in addition, with some interest that generates a benefit for them.

The credit to which he refers – and that La Moneda announced last weekend as a means of alleviating the official disorder in the face of the project that allows the withdrawal of 10% of AFP funds- it is not intermediated by banks nor does it have interests.

The plan announced by the government considers that the General Treasury of the Republic will be in charge of the administration of soft credit for the middle class, which must be requested before the Internal Revenue Service, once the initiative is approved by Parliament. Additionally, it considers 0% rate credits and a one-year grace period for payment.

* During the afternoon, Jackson’s team stated that the deputy’s statements pointed to part of the complete package of measures announced by Piñera on Sunday, and not only to the soft credit that is included within that same set of initiatives. The sayings of the deputy to CNN are imprecise and, therefore, questionable. According to Jackson’s team, of the four initiatives announced by the President, two would benefit the banks: the extension of the CAE (a special application process will be opened) and the postponement by 6 dividends of the mortgage loan for properties under 10,000 UF, because this could bring coupled interests. The postponement, which is voluntary, considers a credit to postpone it. It is not free, indeed, but it is a real zero rate because it uses the cap set by the Central Bank in some measure. The other two measures in the plan for the middle class – soft credit and increased rental subsidy – would not benefit private banks, according to Jackson’s team.

“I have always said that this is not a good measure and luckily that is all recorded. (…) We should all have aligned ourselves because it was not a good measure for citizens and we always said that this was the last option ”. Those were the words of the RN president, Mario Desbordes, a day after a crisis in the ruling party was unleashed due to the defeat suffered by the government, after 13 deputies from the UDI and RN made possible the progress of the project that allows contributors to withdraw up to 10% of their savings in the AFPs.

However, the helmsman’s lament is far from the statements he gave in mid-June and when the initiative was just beginning to be installed in public opinion. At that time, the deputy was one of the first voices of Chile Vamos, who opened up to the option of analyzing the 10% withdrawal, pointing out that, although it was not “the ideal”, that would be the alternative.

“There is an important sector of the middle class that is not going to receive any of these benefits, these people are desperate and need a solution. That solution for now is not going by the way of increasing fiscal spending and on the table there is a proposal that these people can withdraw 10% of the funds they have saved for their pension. It is not the ideal, there is no doubt about that, it will affect your pension, there is no doubt about that, but At the moment I don’t see any other alternative on the table, the clock is ticking, time is ticking and people are desperate more and more every day”Desbordes held on June 24 in DF. She added: “We need to look for a probably difficult, unorthodox answer, in times that are very difficult for millions of people.”

The next day, the deputy continued to express his position. “I think that they are different visions and that talking about a mixed system of people is not from the left, and that open up to the possibility that people can get 10% of pensions is to verify a reality“, said. And, on another occasion, he maintained on DNA radio: “When they tear clothing because I plan to outsource the issue of 10% (of pension funds), and at the same time they tell me that workers cannot touch their own savings, and in this In another case, we are saying to use your savings (to mothers and fathers), because there is no more tax money, the truth is that I cannot understand why in one case yes and in another no”.

The deputy also changed his mind during the course of the debate regarding the origin of spending. At first, the deputy had stated that “the solution” was not going to increase fiscal spending, something that he later denied during his speech on Wednesday in the room.

“The number of people who lose their jobs goes up and up every day (…) that’s why we put on the table that the possibility of analyzing that people could withdraw part of their pension funds, it cannot be a taboo subject. I appreciate the initiative of the deputy Walker, but I repeat what I have been saying since day one, this is the last option, first we have to look for fiscal resources, so that the workers are not the ones who bear the cost of this crisis with their pension savings ”, held at that time.

“The government has been inoperative in the 10% discussion. His MPs rejected his latest IFE PLUS offer. There is no glimpse of something like a dilemma in the performance of the opposition in the Senate. I hope we face that 10% vote with unity in our sector (…) I affirm that in the Senate we will vote in favor of 10% ”. Those were yesterday’s words from PPD senador, Ricardo Lagos Weber, regarding its position to face the debate of the project that allows contributors to withdraw 10% of their savings in AFP.

However, the parliamentarian had a change of opinion regarding the position he had defended during the process of the initiative, when he even criticized the opposition motion a day before it was approved in general by the Chamber of Deputies chamber.

“I have not found an argument that convinces me that it is good policy”Lagos Weber told CNN on June 19, while on another occasion he had stated that this measure “will deepen the economic damage to the middle class.”

In addition, on the night of July 6 – the day the bill was approved by the House’s Constitution Committee – the legislator had again expressed his objections. “I think that perhaps there are better and more immediate alternatives, and with fewer negative externalities, regardless of whether the pension system has to be fixed entirely (…) I think and three times I think we should use the resources we have today and not decrease pensions“, he pointed.

In the midst of the arduous debate that took place in the Chamber of Deputies during the vote on the project that allows contributors to withdraw up to 10% of their savings in the AFP, members of the ruling party and the opposition used different percentages and technical arguments to back up their positions. However, not all speeches were completely accurate.

One of them was the words that the PPD deputy, Ricardo Celis, who stated that he “missed” the fact that the Chile Vamos parliamentarians did not refer to the fact that “the AFPs can buy bonds from companies without risk classification”.

“I have heard speeches here very concerned, but I miss some of the deputies from Chile Vamos, who have not said anything about the -5.7% that the A funds have had profitability, or the -4.8% that has Fund B had profitability in this first half. 5.6% or 5.7% of pensions have been lost and they have not said anything, I have not heard them either that they have said nothing that the AFPs can buy bonds of companies without risk classification. They don’t say any of that, ”said the parliamentarian.

However, Celis’s words were inaccurate and questionable. This is because currently no AFPs are allowed to buy bonds from companies without risk classification. What the deputy could have referred to is that there is a project in Congress that proposes incorporating the possibility that pension funds may invest in unregistered debt securities. All this, as long as they are traded on a national stock exchange, and the issuer is registered in the register of the CMF. You must also comply with the other conditions established by the Superintendence of Pensions through a general rule.

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