Finance Minster Luis Caputo addressed a special committee for the monitoring of foreign debt on Wednesday.
As he fended off questions and accusations over his personal financial activity in tax havens, Caputo made the following statements about the country’s rising foreign debt and its budget deficit:
1) We have to lower tax pressure and reduce spending to achieve fiscal balance.
2) Reducing the primary deficit five points in a year or two will greatly impact the most vulnerable.
3) We aim to reduce the budget deficit by one percentage point of GDP (Gross Domestic Product). We believe that in five years we can achieve this.
4) We have reduced credit rates to the lowest in history.
5) Today there are people who can buy a house with 30-year mortgages that have not been available for a long time.
6) This debt financing is different.
7) People should focus on us achieving our budget deficit goals.
8) Debt financing is not the issue, rather that we achieve our budget deficit goals. In 2016 and 2017, those goals were overachieved and we are on track to do the same in 2018.
9) If we know our deficit levels, we know what extent we can take on debt.
10) Investors feel comfortable and content with the policies we are implementing. And they are accompanying this process. Not only investors but credit rating agencies, too.
11) Most Latin American countries pay more interest on debt than what we do, including those with better credit ratings than us.
12) The goal of this government is to eliminate poverty and to do so we need to have sustained and stable growth. For many years, our growth was characterised by its phenomenal volatility, and with our crises the gap (between rich and poor) became wider.
13) We are trying to establish the bases for sustained growth. We are accustomed in Argentina to big plans aimed at saving us. They do not exist. The only thing we can do is be a normal country. And to tell people this. We are not going to solve our problems in one or two years. We cannot solve 75 years of mismanagement. Each year that goes by, we are going to be better off. This is how we can close the gap and reduce poverty.
14) It is the first time in 100 years, in 2017, that we saw a reduction in all areas of the budget deficit and a growth in the economy. This will apply to 2018 and 2019, too.