With the text of the 2023 budget approved in committee and soon to be debated in Congress, a private report assured that there would be a 5.3% reduction in science and technology. Of the ministry they deny it: “The budget of the function Science and technology in the 2023 budget are brought to constant values of 32%reaching 500,921 million pesos, which corresponds to 0.34% of the GDP set as a target by the science and technology financing law”.
It’s in response to the report “National Education Budget 2023” by the organization Argentinos por la Educación, which emphasizes cutting spending for the education portfolio but says that if the law is approved in the same terms in which it was introduced, 22 of the 25 budget jurisdictions, i.e. ministries or other agencies will get fewer resources in real terms. Within these jurisdictions is the Science, Technology and Innovation portfolio which, according to private estimates, will suffer a budget cut of 5.3%.
However, the Observatory’s report “engages a miscalculation when analyzing the new budget based on an inflation estimate of 85% and not 60% this is what is stipulated in the base of the 2023 budget, ”they assure of the portfolio led by Daniel Filmus. “As we all know, in the event that inflation is above 60%, income and therefore expenditure will also increase proportionally. in all areas,” he continues.
For example, in the 2022 budget sent by the executive to the National Congress which was not approved by the Congress, the resources allocated to science and technology were planned at 187 billion pesos. Based on additional administrative decisions, the science and technology budget is now close to 240 billion pesos. This practice is applied whenever inflation exceeds the forecasts included in the budget.
In addition to the capricious calculation of the inflation projected for 2023, the report of the Observatory does not take into account the proportional part of the Bonds in Charge of the Treasury which corresponds to the Ministry of Science and Technology in the calculation of the specific budget for the area. These obligations, which represent approximately 25% of the total S&T resources, will be distributed during the year 2023 according to the needs of each scientific organization. “It should be noted that a good part of the Argentine scientific and technological system does not belong to Mincyt. The CNEA, Inta, Inti, the National Meteorological Institute, the Argentine Antarctic Institute, etc. belong to d ‘other ministries’, they say of CyT about the error.
In short, if we take the inflationary hypothesis correctly, the 2023 national budget for the science and technology function increases, at constant values, by 32%. In the particular case of the Ministry of Science and Technology, the growth at constant values, even without counting the obligations charged to the Treasury for science, is 9.8%.
Since 2019, the national government has placed science and technology among its priorities and made budgetary decisions that have privileged this sector. These decisions made it possible to recover a good part of the decline in investments which, between 2015 and 2019, led to a loss of the participation of science and technology of 0.35 to 0.22% of GDP. “The unanimous approval of the law on science and technology in 2021 gives us the opportunity to carry out medium and long-term policies that allow growing investment in the sector,” they assured from the portfolio.
The report mentioned by the Ministry of Science was prepared by Javier Curcio, researcher at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) and Conicet, and Gabriela Catri and Martín Nistal, of the Observatory of Argentines for the education, and reproduced in various media. The authors concluded that the 2023 education budget is the second lowest in eleven years and that over the past decade half of national governments have made adjustments in education allocations.
In one of the sections, they assure that most of the agencies that make up the national administration will have fewer resources in real terms: the Ministry of Tourism and Sports would undergo the greatest adjustment (26%), the Economy (20 .8%) and Health. (19.2 percent). However, the calculations are made on the inflation projected in the Survey of Market Expectations (MER) which is derived from private estimates that the Central Bank studies and places the price increase at 85.2% for the period. Although they can be considered as valid data, they do not serve as a comparison to analyze the budget which foresees a 60% price increase, even a recalibration of resources and expenditure in case inflation is higher than intended.