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Key legislator backs new round of aid, more ‘universal’ coverage

key legislator backs new round of aid more universal coverage - Key legislator backs new round of aid, more ‘universal’ coverage

THE GOVERNMENT needs to prepare another round of direct cash transfers, which should be more “universal” than previous rounds targeting vulnerable communities, due to the lingering effects of the pandemic, a senior legislator said over the weekend.

Representative Jose Maria Clemente S. Salceda, the House Ways and Means Committee chairman, said disposal incomes are eroding across the board, and third-quarter data could signal the need to expand the scope of the aid beyond vulnerable beneficiaries.

“We should be open to a direct, universal cash transfer. There should be some fiscal space left since we outperformed revised revenue targets this year. We can also borrow a bit against future revenue,” Mr. Salceda said in a statement.

Mr. Salceda said the government should expand the third round of the Social Amelioration Program in the 2021 budget “to a more universal level” if the disposable income declines by 20-30% in the third quarter.

“We should be prepared to change course from our more prudent fiscal approach if the signs point to a need for renewed direct cash infusions into households,” he said.

Mr. Salceda, who also chairs the economic stimulus and recovery cluster of the House Defeat COVID-19 committee, said public spending plays a crucial role during a consumption crunch.

“The seeming recovery of the US economy in the third quarter… is the direct result of aggressive public spending,” he said.

“It definitely played a role that they released a large stimulus package. Of course, in terms of fiscal stimulus, they can be more expansive because they are the reserve currency of the world, so that has its own privileges.” — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza

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