LatinNews Daily - 05 September 2022

In brief: Guatemala gov’t presents 2023 budget proposal

*Guatemala’s finance minister Alvaro González Ricci has presented the government’s 2023 budget proposal for Q112.28bn (US$14.5bn), up from Q106.23bn approved for 2022. He said that it was based on expected tax take of Q84.6bn, up Q8.29bn on the previous year. The finance ministry highlights as a key priority the need to address malnutrition, claiming that it has assigned investment spending of Q10.69bn for Gran Cruzada por la Nutrición, President Alejandro Giammattei’s flagship programme to combat food insecurity. González adds that the tax take is expected to reach 11.9% of GDP in 2023. However, in an analysis of the budget proposal, respected local think tank Central American institute of fiscal studies (Icefi) questioned the expected tax take, saying it was “incoherent” with the reality of recent figures. It said that Icefi had calculated tax take of Q52.6bn as of 31 July and based on cautious estimates this would come in at Q86.91bn this year which is above the amount forecast for 2023. As well as questioning the figures, Icefi also calls for special anti-corruption norms and fiscal transparency given that 2023 is an electoral year (the first round of general elections is due in June 2023). Icefi says that fiscal transparency should focus in particular on assignations for communications & infrastructure ministry (Micivi), local development councils (Codedes) and municipalities.

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