(Expansión) – On September 8, the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit delivered the to the Congress of the Union, in which we find: the Income Law Initiative, the General Criteria of Economic Policy -with the macroeconomic assumptions- and the Federal Expenditure Budget Project (PPEF).
This event marks the beginning of the budget discussion for next year, both in the Chamber of Deputies and Senators in the case of the Income Law, and the discussion of the budget allocation only in the Lower House.
And why are we Mexicans and Mexicans interested? First, because ; energy policy and infrastructure projects, whether we agree or not, are financed with our taxes. Second, public policies define our opportunities, both economic and social. Third, public spending must have a redistributive function.
So, in the framework of the national celebrations, let’s discuss what Mexico we want to be in the future and what steps we must take to get closer to this plan. We can agree that we need an economy that grows and that offers better opportunities to all of us.
Undoubtedly, the challenges are transformed in each budget discussion. In 2021 and 2022 we needed to deepen with the pandemic: health, economic, social and care. In 2023 we need a package that allows us to have greater social progress in the following years. Two key, but not exclusive, elements are: education and the generation of clean and sufficient energy.
In a democracy, the debate of ideas is always welcome, how do we do it to…? But a first step is to have a diagnosis of the problem, to have data to propose solutions based on an evaluation of reality. When reviewing the PPEF 2023 we find that it is proposed that the Ministry of Public Education have 5% more resources than in 2022 or an additional 19,447 million pesos for all educational challenges that, if by itself before the pandemic we were not among the countries best evaluated in this area, now we do not know.
The second challenge, how do we manage to generate the energy that Mexico needs to grow? Let us ask our legislators for a serious analysis on whether their proposal is that the energy transition be carried out by the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) so that it has technical and financial tools for this purpose.
If the CFE is not the right one to make the large investments that are required in clean energy, keeping in mind that these are limited public resources for multiple social issues such as: health, education, security, among others, let us discuss clear rules in the energy sector so that Based on government planning, private investments can be added to obtain the clean energy that Mexico needs to grow.
The 2023 General Economic Policy Criteria (Criteria) document includes growth estimates for 2022 – 2023 and for the next five years, which concern me in the short and medium term. For next year, real annual growth of 3% seems unaffordable, slightly twice as high as expected growth in the .
With the help of the public finance sensitivities found in Criteria 2023, we can measure the blow to tax revenues in the event that next year’s growth looks a little more like what is expected by specialists than SHCP’s estimates. In this case, we would have lower tax revenues by 1.6 times the budget requested for the Dos Bocas refinery next year.
A conscious budget would try not to overestimate public revenues, since from these we can propose the budget allocation. In itself, the Revenue Law Initiative already contemplates that 14% of spending be financed with debt, now if we add to this the lack of tax revenue, it is very likely that we will see cuts in social spending as well as in education.
Finally, let’s focus on the medium term and the capabilities to make Mexico more productive and competitive. The Criteria document leaves us with a bitter taste in our mouths regarding growth estimates from 2024 to 2028, in these years SHCP estimates that the country will only grow 2.4% each year!
We want to shout ¡Viva México!, with better opportunities in the present and the future.
Editor’s note: Adriana García ( ) is coordinator of economic analysis at
The opinions published in this column belong exclusively to the author.