Authorities releases BRL 10.9 billion as a measure to pay help to truck drivers and taxi drivers
The payment of benefits will only be possible due to the approval of a constitutional amendment that overturns the laws that deal with elections and public accounts
President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) edited an MP (provisional measure) to release an extraordinary credit of R$10.9 billion with the aim of making it possible to pay aid to truck drivers and taxi drivers.
The release of funds was possible after the approval of a constitutional amendment that overturns the laws that deal with elections and public accounts to allow the government to boost social benefits on the eve of the race for the Palácio do Planalto. The total cost of the PEC is estimated at R$ 41.25 billion.
Thanks to the enacted text, the amounts will be excluded from the spending ceiling (which prevents real growth in federal expenditures) and from the fiscal target account (result of income minus expenses to be pursued by the government in the year).
The MP edited by Bolsonaro determines that the transfer of R$ 10.9 billion will be made to the Ministry of Infrastructure, which will be responsible for making the payments. The monthly benefit to truck drivers and taxi drivers will be, on average, R$1,000.
The funds transferred to the ministry should also cover the granting of aid to the federation units that give ICMS tax credit to producers or distributors of hydrous ethanol.
The benefit to truck drivers is Bolsonaro’s bet to keep the class in his electoral base. The category, which strongly supported the president in 2018, has shown dissatisfaction with the government due to the high fuel prices registered in the current administration.
The PEC that guaranteed these benefits was also responsible for opening space in the budget for the expansion of the Auxílio Brasil and Auxílio Gás programs.
Despite the increase taking place on the eve of the elections, the president denies that the readjustment is related to the electoral period. The argument used is that the Ukrainian War and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic led to the growth of inflation and, therefore, it is necessary to increase the benefits granted by the government.
Bolsonaro’s decision to increase Auxílio Brasil on the eve of the election contradicts the performance he had when he was a federal deputy. In 2000, the current Chief Executive was the only member of the Chamber to vote against the creation of the Fund to Combat and Eradicate Poverty.
On that occasion, Congress approved R$ 2.3 billion (equivalent to almost R$ 9 billion in values adjusted by the IPCA) for the new fund, of which R$ 1 billion for sanitation actions and R$ 1.3 billion for programs of income transfer, in particular Bolsa Escola, a precursor to Bolsa Família that transferred resources to poor families who kept children in school.
In a speech to the plenary during the vote, Bolsonaro said he was proud of his vote. According to him, the proposal increased taxes and was clientelistic.