ECONOMY NATIONAL POLITICS

Piñera presents 2022 budget: Chile to cut spending by over 20 percent

For the last time, Chilean President Sebastián Piñera presented a yearly budget for the country. In order to make up for economic emergency plans launched during the pandemic, the government says spending must be reduced by more than 20 percent. In line with the country’s economic recovery, the budget for 2022 is significantly higher than the one approved in 2020.

Chilean President Sebastián Piñera presented the bill that lays out the country’s 2022 budget during a speech on national television on Thursday, Sept. 23. In the bill, that is yet to be approved by Congress, the president announced a budget of US$82.1 billion for 2022. The budget seeks to recover from the economic damage suffered during the pandemic and the subsequent emergency measures to stimulate the economy by slashing spending 22 percent in 2022.

The emergency measures alone cost Chile US$27 billion, and the current fiscal deficit in Chile now stands at 11.5 percent of GDP, something Piñera called “unsustainable.” He aims to reduce that percentage to just 3.9 by the end of next year. He called his budget bill “a necessary step forward in recovering our fiscal balance, stabilizing public debt, and strengthening the pillars of economic growth and human development of our country.”

Compared to the 2020 budget, however, spending will actually increase 3.7 percent. Major components of the bill call for an increase in public investment, funding for housing and infrastructure, and strengthening the nation’s public healthcare system.

For 2022, Chile has secured enough vaccines for the entire population, Piñera announced. Funds to fight the effects of climate change, were also announced.

 

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