BUENOS AIRES Jan 3 Argentina's new Treasury
Minister Nicolas Dujovne said he would propose a broad tax
reform focused on slashing taxes on salaries and banking in
interviews with La Nacion and other local papers published on
Dujovne officially joined the government on Monday, a week
after center-right President Mauricio Macri fired Finance
Minister Alfonso Prat-Gay citing differences in management style
and split his job into two ministries, treasury and finance.
Dujovne said the tax burden on salaries was "ridiculous" at
around 40 percent and pushed workers into the informal sector.
He estimated that 35 percent of Argentina's economy was
Dujovne's focus would be reducing costs to make Latin
America's No. 3 economy competitive again, he said, adding he
would need "a few months" to prepare a tax reform to propose to
the rest of the cabinet.
While Dujovne has pledged continuity, he is viewed as more
of a fiscal hawk than Prat-Gay, whose 2017 budget projection
included a 4.2 percent deficit target, higher than the 3.3
percent initially promised by Macri.
Dujovne, former chief economist at Argentine bank Banco
Galicia, reiterated plans to lower the deficit beyond 4.2
percent, using revenue from a tax amnesty program. He said he
wanted to reinstate mid-year deficit goals and would have press
conferences every two months.
"I aim to have very clear fiscal goals for this year, 2018,
and 2019," Dujovne told La Nacion.
Macri's government has generally been praised by investors
after more than a decade of leftist rule, but investment has
lagged as Argentina's economy remains mired in recession with
inflation expected to have ended 2016 at around 40 percent.
(Reporting by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)