The Argentine government of President Mauricio Macri approved a gas price hike from 300 to 500 percent for both citizens and companies on Friday, announcing it will continue to rise until 2019 despite constant mobilizations against the administration's neoliberal policies across the country.
Rates for residents will be updated every April and October each year using the exchange rate at the time, with the goal of eliminating all subsidies in 2019, according to a resolution published in the Official Gazette which was signed by Energy Minister Juan Jose Aranguren.
The measure includes differential rates for those who "register consumption savings equal to or greater than 15 percent over the same period last year."
The new rates were announced after a public hearing held in mid-September in La Boca neighborhood. This comes after Argentina's Supreme Court ruled the government must hold public hearings before cutting energy subsidies and hiking residential utility rates.
One month after Macri took office in December 2015, Argentine households experienced a spike in gas prices of up to 400 percent, which are part of a broader campaign to increase the price of basic utilities including increases in the cost of electricity by up to 700 percent.
According to a statement made in August by the court, the government acted in violation of the "24,076 law on natural gas which says hearings are needed to secure that the constitutional right to information, consultation and participation for users and consumers is respected.”
Since coming to power the Macri government has approved a series of neoliberal measures that have shaken the economy by increasing the price of gasoline, gas, public transportation and electricity. Protesters have repeatedly taken to the streets against Macri over his policies and demand the price increases be overturned.