Argentina: Beneficiaries of social aid found not to be in need

Argentina: Beneficiaries of social aid found not to be in need
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30 December 2023
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Argentina's Human Capital Ministry on Friday ordered the suppression of 4,588 social assistance plans whose beneficiaries were found to have incurred expenses incompatible with such assistance, it was reported in Buenos Aires.

Many of the recipients of the “Potenciar trabajo” social plans for the unemployed were on the payroll of the provincial governments of Mendoza, Misiones, Entre Ríos, Tucumán, Río Negro, Jujuy, the province of Buenos Aires, Santa Fe, Córdoba, Corrientes, Formosa, Salta and Santa Cruz, it was discovered. According to local media, some of them even took luxurious trips abroad.

The investigation carried out by Federal Prosecutor Guillermo Marijuan found, after cross-checking the database of beneficiaries and public employees of 13 provinces, “4,588 people would present incompatibilities to access said plan,” the Ministry said through a statement.

Presidential spokesman Manuel Adorni confirmed last Tuesday that the national government had launched an audit “in all the employment promotion plans, which amount to more than one million, in order to detect irregularities or assigned plans that are not properly justified”. Adorni also pointed out that there could be around 160,000 cases of irregularities of various kinds.

During a probe into possible fraud in the granting of benefits under the Potenciar Trabajo program, Marijuán reportedly found that public officials in various provinces received such benefits, which are prohibited by law. The Public Prosecutor's Office is investigating possible crimes of “dereliction of duty” of a public official due to failure to control and “fraud,” and has already identified 8,535 cases.

Marijuán has already filed a criminal complaint before Buenos Aires Federal Judge María Romilda Servini, after discovering that almost 160,000 beneficiaries of “Potenciar Trabajo” had traveled abroad, many of them “on numerous occasions”.

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