The Macri administration announced it will backtrack on its decision to cancel the disability pensions of 70,000 people throughout the year. In a press release, Social Development Minister Carolina Stanley confirmed the decision but clarified that the government will analyze the case of each and every recipient to determine how appropriate their participation in the program is.

According to Clarín, pensions will be restored automatically next week, but those who have higher levels of income — who earn more than AR $100,000 a month — will no longer be eligible for the government benefit. The Macri administration had justified its decision in the — imperically true — exponential increase of people receiving pensions during the Kirchner administrations. As the issue continued to hold the spotlight throughout the week, news surfaced that there were towns that had more disability pensions than residents.

However, there were also numerous cases of recipients who were genuinely entitled to a pension and needed it to support themselves who were stripped from it. Predictably, this caused a great deal of controversy and motivated widespread rejection from different sectors of society. Opposition parties, unions, the ombudsman and several NGOs dedicated to defending the rights of people with disabilities took the matter to court. Moreover, hundreds of people with disabilities, along with their family members, gathered at the Obelisco to protest against the decision yesterday afternoon.

Photo via DyN
Photo via DyN

All these factors forced the government to backtrack. “All people who have a disability and got their pensions canceled [as a result of] a mistake in the criteria used will see them reestablished,” Stanley assured.

“The first thing we want to do is convey peace of mind about the matter, and tell the million and a half families who receive a disability pension in Argentina that they will continue getting it.”

This is not the first time that the government has had to backtrack on an initiative after facing rejection from various sectors of society. In fact, the numerous previous examples indicate that this is becoming something of a habit which, despite showing the government is capable of self-criticism, also has led the Macri administration to pay a significant political cost every time it happens.

Here’s a list of other issues the government had to go back on.