The President elect's discourse, as well as that of those who will be part of his cabinet and the discourse from his party's legislators, emphasizes over and over again, that the country is on the verge of a transformation, the so-called Fourth Transformation, after the Independence, Reform, and Revolution, to end with a way of conducting politics and of governing that created a sense of weariness among citizens.
One of the main promises was to end squandering and luxurious benefits for the high-ranking bureaucracy in the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. Instead, they claim, Republican austerity will prevail.
Eleven days after Congress was formed, the idea is materializing. Morena's bench presented a proposal no one could disapprove, as it suggests “to limit the opulence in the exercising of the public budget to make room for austerity and rationality, prioritizing the collective well-being”.
They propose several actions, among them: eliminate bodyguards and armored vehicles for public servants, with exception to those who work in the security, defense, and justice areas; limit official visits and ban buying plane tickets in first class or its equivalent. They also mention the end of the former Presidents' pensions, as well as major medical expenses.
At the same time, The Nation's Supreme Court of Justice expects that next year, a reduction of MXN $850 millions in its annual budget, as a consequence from a reduction in protocol expenses, congresses, conventions; decrease travel expenses and fares, cultural activities, and the reduction of car acquisitions.
The measures in the legislative and judicial branches should only be the beginning of politics that penetrate into the proper use of public resources, as there will always be the possibility of saving up even more. For example, the willingness that no public servant earns more than the President is still missing.
Nevertheless, savings could be announced, but they won't succeed if they don't come hand in hand with transparency. The goals, in theory, might be different from the ones in practice.
Austerity is not about challenges to bring your own coffee and food to the office, #tupperchallenge, #termochallenge, but planned and actions established within a law that ends with the harmful habit of charging personal expenses to the treasury.
Only through accountability, society will be able to acknowledge if the promise of austerity was serious.