Argentina has scheduled to gradually raise public transportation fares located in the Buenos Aires metropolitan area in a bid to reduce its fiscal deficit.
The news came from the South American country's Transportation Minister, Guillermo Dietrich, Friday. He also informed that fares for low-income passengers would also increase but by a lower percentage.
Dietrich said if any other alternative was possible the government would have elected to do so “because we understand that each peso is important in the pocket of each person.”
However, Monica Macha, a congresswoman for the Citizen Unity (UC) alliance, was quick to contest the transport increase. “Do they really want to keep swiping the workers' pockets? They can't keep making adjustments to the same sector.”
The current bus fare, which costs 10 pesos (approximately US$0.36 per ride) will increase by a total of 30 percent over the next three months, according to Nasdaq.
Train fares will also increase from 6.75 pesos (approximately US$0.25) per ride to 8.75 pesos (about US$0.32).
Nasdaq reported that the fare hikes are based on efforts to reduce Argentina's massive subsidies for public transit operators to meet fiscal targets after agreeing to a US$50 billion financing deal with the International Monetary Fund, or IMF, last in June.
Argentine President Mauricio Macri is facing a deep political crisis as inflation continues to increase, austerity measures affect the most vulnerable, capital flight continues to worsen the economic situation, poverty rises, and a recent journalistic investigation revealed an extensive money laundering scheme by the ruling party coalition Cambiemos.
Thousands of Argentines took to the streets and set up roadblocks last week to demonstrate against the International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde, who arrived in Buenos Aires for a G20 summit. Their protest was aimed at the government’s extreme austerity measures and recent IMF loan.