On October 22, listening and responding to the voice of the people, we proposed an acceleration and intensification of our social commitment, putting forward a Social Agenda.
I want to be very clear: it is a very broad agenda that covers many issues, all of which are very sensitive for Chileans and very much part of their demands. It is also a very deep agenda in that it will benefit more than 15 million Chileans.
The Agenda reflects the priorities and concerns that the people have always expressed: such as improving pensions, establishing greater territorial equity between different municipal districts, asking for and establishing a greater contribution from higher-income sectors, reducing the remunerations of members of Congress and the number of seats, establishing insurance against catastrophic illnesses, reducing the price of medicines, and stabilizing the price of fundamental public services like the Metro, electricity and tolls on urban highways.
But, as an additional measure, we are also proposing - and I think this is very important - to increase or establish a minimum monthly income of 350,000 pesos for all full-time Chilean workers who are members of the 90% most vulnerable households.
I am happy to announce that, thanks to the work of the Labor Minister, the Finance Minister and the Social Development Minister, we are today going to submit to Congress a bill to establish a minimum income of 350,000 pesos.
How does this minimum income work? Everyone with an income of less than 350,000 pesos and, of course, more than the minimum wage of 301,000 pesos will receive a contribution, a helping hand, a subsidy from the state that will bring their income up to a minimum of 350,000 pesos.
This will benefit all full-time workers and proportionally those with a less than full-time working day, as is the case of some Chileans today.
Almost all the beneficiaries of this state subsidy work in small and mid-sized businesses. It is a benefit that will go directly into the pocket of 540,000 working Chilean men and women and will have a very important cost for the state; some 190,000 million pesos in its first year of application.
I believe that, in this way, we are giving a new boost to a Social Agenda, practically all of which is now before Congress for its approval, on the way to its implementation by the government or, as in the case of the reduction of fares on the Metro and the price of electricity and road tolls, already in force.
And I believe that, in this, we are responding with actions, not merely good intentions, to what the people have demanded with great force, enabling the state of Chile and Chilean society as a whole to make an extraordinary effort to help those Chileans most in need and who also most deserve it.