Brazil Politics: Government Reaches Deal to End Budget Impasse
(Bloomberg) -- The Brazilian government’s economic team and lawmakers struck a deal to veto parts of the contentious budget bill while carving out some spending on pandemic-related issues. As part of the agreement, congress approved on Monday evening a bill that changes the country’s 2021 budget guidelines.
The bill opens room for the government to recreate a job protection program and to give financial support to small companies affected by the pandemic. It also allows the government to exclude part of public spending against the pandemic from the 2021 fiscal target.
The agreement, however, can increase total spending against the pandemic that falls outside fiscal rules to more than 125 billion reais ($22.6 billion), says O Estado de S. Paulo. President Jair Bolsonaro also gave in to pressure from parliamentarians to preserve 16.5 billion reais for lawmaker spending proposals while cutting other expenditures and investments from the government itself, according to the report. Government secretary Flavia Arruda said 10.5 billion reais is going to be vetoed.
Bolsonaro has to sign the budget into law by Thursday.
Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco signaled the start of the congressional probe into the government’s response to the pandemic was postponed to next week, probably to April 27. Bolsonaro is trying to gain some extra time to maneuver, and is seeking to increase support in the senate by ceding government posts, according to O Estado de S. Paulo. One of the ideas is to make available the position of education minister, according to the report.
Brazil reported a total of 13,973,695 Covid-19 cases, with 30,624 confirmed in 24 hours, according to Health Ministry data published late on Monday. The country’s coronavirus death toll rose by 1,347 in 24 hours to 374,682. States and the Federal District applied 36,596,038 vaccine doses against Covid-19, according to latest data available disclosed by the 27 local governments. Of these, 10,036,564 corresponds to the application of second dose.
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