(Source: Twitter)

Government he turned on the tap of discretionary funds to Buenos Aires province in the first quarter of the year despite the fact that its governor, Axel Kicillo -definitely columned behind Cristina Kirchner and one of his economic advisers in the official internal affairs – intensified his criticism of the management of Alberto Fernandez and publicly called for more games for his district.

According to official data accessed THE NATION, the non-automatic current transfers from the Nation to the province they jumped from $26,333 million in the first quarter of 2021 to $78,626 in the same period this year. An 300% more, well above inflation.

According to a private report from the Argentine Institute of Fiscal Analysis (Iaraf), If the distribution of discretionary transfers between the provinces is observed -that is, those that are at the discretion of the Government- Buenos Aires passed from 30% participation in the total in the first quarter of 2021 to 46% in the same period of 2022. A positive rate, in real terms, of 68%, which places it at the top of the ranking, along with Tierra del Fuego. In April, when the official alliance hatched, the trend was sustained: from 34% to 48% year-on-year.

“What sense does it make to punish Buenos Aires by unfortunate and inopportune declarations of its governor. We would be complicating the people, in a very voluminous province with many needs. It can be a powder keg.” recognized an important official source to THE NATION to defend the funds that it enabled Martin Guzman, the official most punished in public by Kirchnerism.

In the province they reject that there is preferential treatment towards Buenos Aires. “The commitments assumed by the national government regarding the financing of programs have remained within normal limits. Neither the national government nor we mix the management with the opinions”, they assured this outlet in the governor’s circle of trust.

Consulted by this means, in the Kicillof administration they limited themselves to reporting a consolidated figure for the first quarter, and indicated that the province received “$38,569 million pesos of the Nation for discretionary funds. According to the consulting firm Aerarium, in that same period, transfers to the PBA went from 34.4% to 40.7% of participation in the total between 2021 and 2022.

This increase is largely explained by the direct assistance from the Treasury to the province, which is executed under the mandate of the Palacio de Hacienda. According to official data published by the Ministry of Economy, the Kicillof government received $27,000 million so far this year for the Fiscal Strengthening Fund (FFF), what it is nourished by the co-participation that is deducted from the Federal Capital. In another line there is the program of “Financial Assistance to Provinces and Municipalities”. Buenos Aires was not originally included in said distribution, but the Government, depending on its faculties, later assigned to the province $21,798 million. In the month of April alone, the Treasury transferred $7,266 million to the Kicillof government, according to the Congressional Budget Office (OPC).

(Source: Twitter)

Official sources reported that these funds are due to an agreement to offset claims by the Greater Buenos Aires Fund. And they added: “The Ministry of Economy works technically and seriously. It was necessary to repair the retractions that were made to the province in the past”.

Another important national official recalled, while drawing a timeline with a pencil, how transfers from the Nation to the province had decreased when Daniel Scioli was governor and Kicillof was on the other side, in the chair that Guzmán occupies today. “In 2012 it was difficult to pay bonuses in the province. It is an acknowledgment that we were wrong, that of coming back better…”, said.

The funds are supplemented by other transfers from the ministries for $20.65 billion, $7.5 billion for food safety and $4,389 million to offset the deficit of the provincial pension fund. About the ATNs, discretionary funds distributed by the Ministry of the Interior, the Government distributed $14,380 million so far this year, of which some $2.6 billion (18%) went to the province. It is a smaller proportion than the one that corresponds to it by the co-participation, but these transfers were concentrated in recent weeks, in the midst of a resurgence of the political conflict in the Frente de Todos.

The treatment received by Buenos Aires generates unrest in other districts. In reserved meetings governors they conveyed their demand for a more equitable distribution. In fact, in this week’s joint statement signed by the provincial leaders to claim the point of partnership of the city which is in dispute in the Supreme Court, They never alluded to the fact that these funds correspond to Kicillof. “These funds are not from the City but they are not necessarily from Buenos Aires either, because it is not the only province that has emergencies. Axel has problems but is he the only one? they told THE NATION close to a governor of one of the most populous provinces in the country.

Fernández and Kicillof shared a public act for the last time on April 21, in Vaca Muerta. The relationship between the two leaders is much colder since the governor decided to frame himself behind Kirchnerism in the attack against the economic course.

“The institutional relations between the province of Buenos Aires and the Government are unbeatable, in addition to the particular relationship between the President and Kicillof and all the support given to Buenos Aires, which is a large and complex province, which needs a private support and It has particular backing from the national government.” spokeswoman said Gabriela Ceruti at his last press conference.

Kicillof with Insaurralde and Mayors
Kicillof with Insaurralde and Mayors

“By spreading more resources, It is capitalized by Province and Nation”, they evaluated from a Buenos Aires ministry in which they considered that the discomfort of the cristinista troops that accompanies Kicillof is aggravated when the President hints at his desire to run for re-election.

This week, Kicillof granted a 60% wage increase for Buenos Aires state employees, teachers, doctors and judicial officers and a 50% increase in retirement and minimum pensions, as well as the payment of a bonus of up to 10,000 pesos for 26,975 people. In La Plata they warn that the national resources that go down to the province are to meet other expenses and that the payment of salaries and services are covered with their own resources.

Without giving figures, a Peronist mayor of the suburbs ironized: “Neither [Mauricio] Macri to [María Eugenia] Vidal lowered so much money.” And he added: “They [por el gobierno bonaerense] they figure out that in 2023 we will win the province and lose the Nation, but How would Kicillof govern with a national government of another sign that cuts off his funds?

Two communal chiefs of the Buenos Aires Justicial movement pointed out that on Tuesday, in a meeting with the mayors to present projects of the Municipal Infrastructure Fund (FIM), Kicillof commissioned them to report the unpaved streets in their districts to advance in these works. They saw it as a sample of the available resources.

However, this week Kicillof proclaimed at the Book Fair: “There is a debt with the Province. For more efficiency, without resources not even a route can be made. The Province has to claim more resources”. That same day, Kicillof, differentiated himself -without naming him- from Guzmán and asked to make “a very big effort so that the economy grows.”

With the collaboration of Laura Serra

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