MONTEVIDEO – Uruguay’s main labor federation, the PIT-CNT, mobilized on Thursday to press the government to allocate more resources to health and education for the next budget.
This was a “formidable act” to defend democratic development and demand that Uruguay become a “productive country” with social justice, PIT-CNT chief Fernando Pereira told reporters after thousands of people gathered to listen to speeches by union leaders.
Pereira and the other speakers demanded that “those who earn more should pay more” taxes, so that less well-off people can have access to good education, health care and housing.
“Social changes are changes that create equality, less violent societies are those where there isn’t a large gap between the rich and the poor,” Pereira said.
“The government has to decide if it taxes the rich to provide a better life for the poor,” he said.
The mobilization took place on Thursday because Congress is preparing to vote on an amended budget.
Regarding the left-leaning coalition that is currently in government, Pereira criticized the fact that it has prioritized fiscal stability and avoided raising taxes on the rich, for fear that it could affect job growth.
The union leader said that in order to build a “quality” education system, the government would have to assign 6 percent of GDP to education, as there “are no examples in the world” where a quality education is provided with a smaller proportion.