2017 is an election year for deputies and senators. This means the Government will pour a lot of very publicized money and planning into public works projects in an attempt to win votes, especially in Buenos Aires Province, arguably the biggest prize to reach for in every midterm election.
All Provincial district mayors will see a substantial raise in their district’s funding as October’s congressional elections looms on the horizon. But according to a report by La Nación, the leaders belonging to the Cambiemos coalition — will get more than twice as much money per inhabitant as their Victory Front counterparts. Specifically, 127 percent more.
The districts governed by mayors belonging to Sergio Massa’s Renewal Front (FR) do better than their Victory Front counterparts, but are still set to get 52 percent less that leaders from the Cambiemos coalition. The reason why this part of the opposition is getting more money in the province, the report claims, lies in the agreement reached between the Vidal administration and the FR in the provincial Congress that allowed the Buenos Aires governor to pass her budget bill for 2017, since Cambiemos doesn’t hold a majority in either of the houses.
The Government uses a criteria called the “unique distribution coefficient” to allocate funds to districts, and takes the district’s population over the province’s total population, how much tourism it gets, its tax collecting capacity per inhabitant and whether they administer public hospitals, into account along with other factors.
As for the money specifically destined for public works initiatives, it’s distributed in accordance to the priorities established by the Government. The thing is, these priorities are usually tied to the quality of the relationship between the provincial administration and the district in question. When it comes to public spending and federal funding, going against the grain can be a very expensive proposition in Argentina.