SANTIAGO – On Sunday, June 14, Finance Minister Ignacio Briones announced an agreement with the opposition in Congress for a new aid plan. The US$12 billion stimulus package is meant to support Chilean families hit by the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. According to Briones, the agreement could be a sign of hope in times of crisis.
As Chile continues to suffer from a halt of economic activity due to quarantines, curfews, and other coronavirus-related shutdowns and slowdowns, the government has created a stimulus package to support those hit by these effects. The package, created after an agreement was reached with the Chilean opposition in Congress, seeks to help the most vulnerable families in the country.
The US$12 billion (CLP$9.6 trillion) aid plan will allow for an increase of the emergency payment 80 percent of Chile’s most vulnerable families are to receive. According to an earlier announced government plan, they were to receive about CLP$65,000 (US$81) per family member for three months. This amount was increased to CLP$100,000 (US$125) per month. The plan will also be used to increase funding for local governments and health services and to create jobs and cut taxes for smaller enterprises.
En el #AcuerdoCovid unos de las principales medidas es el Nuevo Ingreso Familiar de Emergencia (IFE), que cambió su diseño original para actuar como un complemento a los ingresos actuales de una familia.
Les quiero explicar el mecanismo con algunos ejemplos muy concretos…
— Ignacio Briones (@ignaciobriones_) June 15, 2020
The Chilean opposition party Democratic Revolution, however, left the talks during the weekend as its proposal to give each family a minimum benefit of CLP$460,000 (US$576) was not included in the package. Nevertheless, Finance Minister Ignacio Briones called the plan “a sign of hope” for Chile.
President Piñera, who, for several weeks, had been calling for a national agreement between those aligned with his administration and the opposition, expressed his gratitude towards the sectors involved in the aid plan. His government had announced earlier stimulus packages with a totaling US$17 billion (CLP$13.6 trillion), also focused on helping small- and medium- sized companies and supporting Chile’s vulnerable families.
Editor-In-Chief Boris van der Spek is the founder of Chile Today. He worked in Colombia, Surinam and the Netherlands as reporter and works with international media during major events, like the social crisis, the elections and the Pope’s visit.