06/19/2020 - 11:15
The government extended the rate freeze until the end of the year and prohibited the cut in services due to non-payment in vulnerable households. It did so by extending through decree 543/20 the measures established in the Social Emergency law.
The decree, published today in the Official Gazette, expanded from three to six consecutive or alternate unpaid bills , which a user in a vulnerable situation can accumulate without interrupting supply. In addition, the National Executive Power ordered to extend for another 180 days , until the end of this year, the freezing of public service tariffs.
Among the reasons for extending the tariff freeze, in addition to the extension of quarantine, the decree refers to the impossibility of starting negotiations with providers. "The sanitary emergency and the social, preventive and compulsory isolation have made it impossible to carry out the renegotiation processes of the current tariff revision -whether it is comprehensive or of an extraordinary nature- of the public services of electricity and natural gas."
The decree covers the providers of electric power, gas by networks and running water, fixed or mobile telephony, Internet and cable TV and by radio or satellite link. These companies " may not order the suspension or cut of the respective services to users in the event of default or non-payment of up to six consecutive or alternate invoices, with maturities from March 1, 2020."
The users included are the beneficiaries of the universal allowances for Child (AUH) and for Pregnancy (AUE); non-contributory pensions that receive gross monthly income not exceeding twice the Minimum Living and Mobile Salary -currently at $ 16,875-; monotributistas sociales; and retirees, pensioners and dependent workers who receive a gross remuneration less than or equal to two SMVMs.
In addition, monotributistas enrolled in a category whose monthly monthly income does not exceed twice the minimum wage are included ; those who receive unemployment insurance; electrodependents; domestic workers and those exempt from paying ABL or local taxes of the same nature.
Likewise, the decree extended until June 28 , the obligation of the providers to provide a reduced service that guarantees connectivity , to users who have a prepaid mobile phone or Internet service system that does not pay the corresponding recharge to access the consumption.