Omnibus reform law placed on hold

Earlier, the new government’s major reform vehicle had also run into trouble. This was an ‘omnibus’ law with 664 articles or individual reform proposals. It is formally known as the Ley de Bases y Puntos de Partida para la Libertad de los argentinos (which could be loosely translated as ‘Law of Bases and Points of Departure for the Freedom of Argentines’). Unlike the DNU it can be amended by legislators in both houses on a line-by-line basis, thereby triggering complex negotiations to get it approved. Like the DNU, but covering slightly different areas, the omnibus law contained wide ranging measures including fiscal reforms, the privatisation of state-owned companies, and electoral reforms. In a first move to try and get it approved the government agreed to drop the fiscal measures in it, such as increased soya and payroll taxes, and inflation-indexing for pensions. These and the electoral reforms were also shunted sideways, to be dealt with separately in the legislature. Other elements were also dropped, with the number of articles being pruned back radically from 664 to 224.

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