Soledad Arellano, Sebastián Claro, Sylvia Eyzaguirre, José Luis Daza, Claudio Lucarelli and Patricio Rojas join the command. The candidate asked investors “to believe again in the future of Chile.”
A reinforced economic team presented yesterday the presidential candidate of the Christian Social Front, José Antonio Kast. These are eight coordinators who will work on perfecting and shaping their government program, ahead of the ballot on December 19.
In the group, which has already started its work, Cecilia Cifuentes and Eduardo Guerrero will be joined by the former vice president of the Central Bank, Sebastián Claro; Sebastián Sichel’s former macro coordinator, Patricio Rojas; the former dean of Economics of the U. de los Andes, Claudio Lucarelli; the academic vice-rector of the UAI, Soledad Arellano; the CEP researcher, Sylvia Eyzaguirre; and the Chilean economist based in the US, José Luis Daza.
When introducing his new collaborators, Kast pointed out that “technical and practical knowledge is required” and stated that “we are clear about the social urgencies that exist in Chile and to face them we require clarity on the economic issue.”
One of the main topics that the team will analyze is the candidacy’s tax proposal, which has generated criticism due to the fiscal impact of reducing corporate taxes from 27% to 17%.
“We maintain a clear line that we want to lower the tax rate, but according to reality,” Kast clarified, sending signals of moderation with respect to his original idea.
He clarified that “this is something we have to recognize, that Chile is going through difficult times and for that we have a great team here that will help us and guide us on how to do that progressively and according to the conditions allowed by the country” .
The former deputy said that “the control of fiscal spending is essential” and stated that “we want to ask investors to once again believe that the future of Chile is promising if we do things right.”
He stated that “there are people who had a legitimate fear of what the future of Chile was, some of that is overcome with a more balanced Parliament, not with a Parliament that leans only to the left. Today there is a political balance.”
Regarding his programmatic commitments, he said that “our fundamental objective is to achieve the recovery of the economy and the reestablishment of macroeconomic balances, the commitment to a sustainable fiscal framework, where its maintenance is an indispensable condition for economic recovery.”
Kast stressed that the axes of his economic program are on social issues and that fiscal policy will be oriented towards “a medium-term balance that allows a simpler, more competitive and pro-investment tax structure.”
The CV of the members
Patricio Rojas is a business engineer from UC, a master’s degree in economics and a doctorate from MIT.
Eyzaguirre is a philosopher from the University of Chile and a CEP researcher. She was an advisor to the Ministry of Education and is currently a member of the Advisory Council of the Ministry of Science.
Claro is a business engineer from UC and a PhD from UCLA. He was vice president of the Central Bank.
Daza has a doctorate in economics from Georgetown University, LyD’s public policy advisor, with extensive experience in international banking and the Central Bank.
Arellano is a commercial engineer from UC and a doctorate in economics from MIT, was an alternate minister of the TDLC and undersecretary of Planning and Social Evaluation in the first government of Sebastián Pïñera.
Lucarelli is a UC agronomist and a Ph.D. in economics from the U. of Pennsylvania.
Cifuentes is a commercial engineer and a master’s degree in economics from UC, advisor to the Pension Advisory Council and is a professor at the ESE Business School of the University of Los Andes.
Guerrero, meanwhile, is a commercial engineer and a master’s degree in economics at UC and has developed his career linked to the financial sector and entrepreneurship.
Rojas: “efficient” tax system
Echoing his statements when he was part of the Sichel command that the Kast program had “important weaknesses”, Patricio Rojas appreciated the approach that is being given in the current context to the Republican candidate’s action plan and added that sustainability medium and long-term fiscal plays a fundamental role. In that sense, the conditionality of being able to modify tax issues “goes with that principle.”
The economist added that, to the extent that progress is made in everything that is fiscal sustainability and ordering fiscal accounts, “of course, the efficiency of a tax system also involves being able to reduce some type of taxes, but it is a conditionality that involves achieving that fiscal balance in the medium and long term. It is an issue on which we have to work. “
Cifuentes: tax refund
Cecilia Cifuentes thanked those who said that “we will all try to solve the problems we have, with the idea that we can recover the path of improving the lives of all citizens that requires responsibility and maintain fiscal commitment. We are going to try to draw up a program that meets those conditions. “
He affirmed that the issue of taxes in the government program has to do with ensuring that people have a “better quality of life”, that the country grow again and have investments.
“The fiscal situation today is well weakened and not worrying about fiscal deterioration is a hidden way of collecting taxes from people,” he said.
He added that “we are always going to have the objective that as far as possible, return to people what they pay in taxes, but as a principle fiscal sustainability is very important.”
Of course: adapt the program to reality
Sebastián Claro indicated that the economic situation in Chile “is not easy, the fiscal situation is difficult, weak growth is predicted forwards, inflation is high and there is a lot of uncertainty.” With this chart, he pointed out that “what is responsible for the country is to account for that reality and adapt the program to that reality. We have been summoned to do this work, which is beginning, not finished.”
He affirmed that “the principles that guide the program are three: to grow again, stabilize and consolidate fiscal accounts and support families with social programs that need them. Making these three objectives compatible has never been easy, and neither is it in these circumstances “.
He said that “the objective and the invitation is to summon this group of professionals to adapt the program to this new reality and I have no doubts that the public will value it.”