Argentina has introduced a new tax, passing it on the country's wealthiest people to pay for medical supplies and relief measures in context to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Called the 'millionaire's tax,' senators passed the one-off levy, with 42 votes in favour as against voting against on December 4.
According to the new tax, people whose assets amount to more than 200 million pesos (approximately Rs 18 crore) - about 12,000 in number - will have to pay for the said accommodations. Those included will pay a progressive rate of up to 3.5 per cent on wealth in Argentina and up to 5.25 per cent on that outside the country.
Argentina has recorded close to 1.5 million infections and almost 40,000 deaths from the coronavirus.
Argentina has been rather adversely affected by the pandemic, becoming the fifth country globally to report one million confirmed cases in October. Having a population of only about 45 million people, this statistic made it the smallest nation at that time to surpass that figure.
Lockdown measures that were employed to curb the spread of the virus too dented an economy that has been in recession since 2018; exacerbating issues of unemployment, increasing poverty levels, and that of the massive government debt.
Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported that of the total money raised, 20 per cent will be allocated for medical supplies, 20 per cent as relief for MSMEs, 20 per cent as scholarships for students, 15 per cent towards social developments, and the remaining 25 per cent will be spent on ventures pertaining to natural gas.
President Alberto Fernandez and his Justicialist Party government aims to raise about 300 billion pesos (about Rs 27,000 crore) through this exercise, while the opposition parties fear this move would discourage foreign investors.
While there is an additional fear of this tax not remaining a one-time tax in the long run, opposition party Juntos por el Cambio described this move as "confiscatory."