Argentina to give workers income tax relief from November

FILE PHOTO: Argentina’s new Economy Minister Sergio Massa talks to the media, in Buenos Aires

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) -Argentina’s Economy Minister Sergio Massa said on Sunday the government will give workers tax relief from November by raising the threshold at which income tax is charged, as the country battles with soaring inflation.

“It will take effect from Nov. 1, it will be above 330,000 pesos ($2,176),” Massa said in an interview with Radio Rivadavia, referring to monthly income. The move should help alleviate the burden faced by workers, he added.

Argentine annual inflation hit 83% in September, and is forecast to climb as high as 100% by the end of the year, piling pressure on households and the peso currency, and feeding social discontent in the major grain-producing nation.

Massa said he was eager to bring about a sustained decrease in price pressures, saying “inflation is the worst punishment that any worker, any retiree in Argentina can have.”

The minister said the government is negotiating a new plan aimed at containing the cost of food staples, which he hoped would help Argentina’s neediest by the end of the year.

“We’ve been working with companies of mass consumption,” said Massa, saying the plan was to implement a broader and longer price program than the current one. “There are 20 or 25 that represent 65% of what we Argentines consume.”

When asked about the different dollar-peso exchange rates that operate in the Argentine economy, Massa said his goal was “to find a macroeconomic balance”.

($1 = 151.6700 Argentine pesos)

(Reporting by Lucila Segal, editing by Deepa Babington and Chizu Nomiyama)

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