BUENOS AIRES – The government of President Cristina Fernandez, which has not released official poverty figures since 2013, denounced on Friday the authors of a report saying that one in four Argentines is poor.
“What they say is a lie, just like many others who throw figures around just to be part of the debate,” Cabinet chief Anibal Fernandez (no relation to the president) said at his daily press conference.
The proportion of Argentines living in poverty stood at 25.1 percent at the end of 2014, according to an analysis prepared by disaffected employees of the National Census and Statistics Institute, or INDEC.
The study, published Friday in anti-government daily La Nacion, says the poverty rate has increased by 4.4 percentage points since late 2013.
The drafters of the report remain employed by INDEC, but were marginalized in 2007 after protesting against what they called a manipulation of data.
Previous studies by independent bodies have estimated the poverty rate at around 25 percent.
INDEC stopped releasing official data on poverty over a year ago because the introduction of new methodology for other economic indicators caused an “overlap” of old and new figures, then-Cabinet chief Jorge Capitanich said.
Late last month, the speaker of the lower house, government ally Julian Dominguez, released a congressional study showing the rate of poverty in the South American country was 14.9 percent.