Economic Policy Proposals of Brazil's Main Presidential Hopefuls

(Bloomberg) -- The first round of Brazil’s presidential election is set for Oct. 7 and suspense surrounding who will take the helm of Latin America’s largest economy is growing. Here is what some of the leading contenders have to say about hot button economic issues.

Privatization

  • Jair Bolsonaro
    • Will quickly sell a third of state-controlled companies, mainly those created by left-wing governments. Says strategic assets need to be "preserved" and favors restrictions on foreign ownership of farm land and mineral deposits
  • Ciro Gomes
    • Not against privatization in principle but opposes selling strategic companies such as Petrobras and Eletrobras
    • Pledges to expropriate certain oil fields tendered under President Michel Temer
  • Marina Silva
    • Says "doesn’t have dogma against privatizations"
    • Opposes idea of selling Petrobras, Banco do Brasil, Caixa Economica
  • Geraldo Alckmin
    • Generally backs privatization, but stance on selling Petrobras has seesawed
    • Wouldn’t sell state-controlled banks Banco do Brasil and Caixa Economica Federal
  • Alvaro Dias
    • Backs privatization, and promises to sell off 149 state-controlled companies
    • Opposes the idea of companies he describes as strategic, such as Petrobras, Eletrobras, Banco do Brasil and Caixa Economica Federal

Pension Reform

  • Jair Bolsonaro
    • Backs pension reform generally but still working on proposal; warns current pension system will likely "explode" within the next few years
      Like all candidates, except for Alckmin, Bolsonaro criticized Temer’s pension plan
  • Ciro Gomes
    • Has said Brazil’s pension system has no deficit but supports multi-faceted reform for new entries into labor market and universal minimum pension
  • Marina Silva
    • Pension reform is strategic must be faced early in next government
  • Geraldo Alckmin
    • Supports Temer proposal for minimum retirement age and to limit other benefits
    • Says next president should get reform passed first six months of government
  • Alvaro Dias
    • Favors minimum age, reducing difference between public and private pensions

Central Bank Autonomy

  • Jair Bolsonaro
    • Defends an autonomous central bank with clear inflation target
    • Would be good to maintain current bank board, or have one with similar views
  • Ciro Gomes
    • Says central bank acts with "criminal" autonomy, citing private sector nominations on the board over the years
    • Central bank should target both inflation and employment
  • Marina Silva
    • Backs operational autonomy for the central bank. Says her 2014 proposal as candidate for central bank independence wasn’t her personal view
  • Geraldo Alckmin
    • Says central bank autonomy less of a priority than fiscal reform
    • Ilan Goldfajn doing good job and good idea to keep him in his post
  • Alvaro Dias
    • Describes central bank autonomy as an objective

Big Government or not?

  • Jair Bolsonaro
    • Defends a smaller state and capping Brazil’s tax burden
    • Against taxing profits and dividends
  • Ciro Gomes
    • Says poor and middle-class citizens taxed more than upper class
    • Backs shifting tax burden from purchases of basic goods, medicine and electricity to other areas including inheritance and wealth
  • Marina Silva
    • Wants increased transparency, decentralized and simplified tax system
    • Argues that poorest citizens shouldn’t pay more taxes
    • Downsizing can’t compromise government ability to provide basic services
  • Geraldo Alckmin
    • Must cut cost of doing business in Brazil, implement measures that boost competitiveness and also increase confidence to attract investments
  • Alvaro Dias
    • Defends the idea of reducing the number of government ministries, as well as the size of the Senate and lower house
    • Says Brazil’s government has grown too much 

    Click here for candidates views on Petrobras’ Price Policy

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