27 January 2009

Up it goes

Everything goes up and stays there these days, especially taxes and the heat.

The municipality is about to implement a new traffic scheme in the microcentro — there will be less room to park your car, it will be much more expensive to park it where allowed, and the penalties for violating the parking regulations will be much stiffer. Good for the mayor, but doing it at the same time people are receiving their new municipal tax bills with increases ranging from 30 to 1,500% with respect to the previous month doesn't show a lot of political savvy. And this in turn comes after the failure of the provincial government to pass a new tax law, and just before they try to introduce a new one.

The national government also recently authorized some impressive utility fee hikes for Buenos Aires and its metropolitan area, as public transport went up as well and subsidies were cut. Everybody behind a government desk is trying to squeeze money out of taxpayers to keep things going, at the same time trying not to be too brutal about it because it's an election year y el horno no está para bollos.

With the worldwide economic crunch, the campo crisis still looming, the drought, the prices of exportable commodities plunging to depths unheard of, and the general perception that Cristina K is deaf, blind and clueless, anybody with half a mind can see that 2009 won't be nice. At least the global recession should keep inflation at bay, but even that may fail — Argentina has a way to crash economic models...

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