Electoral showcase, Auxílio Brasil stalls and has ‘line of line’; government does not report data
After announcing in January that it managed to eliminate the waiting list, the government decreed a kind of unofficial secrecy on the number of Brazilians who have been qualified for Auxílio Brasil, but are still not receiving the minimum benefit of R$ 400. Calculations made based on criteria from the National Confederation of Municipalities (CNM) – which released a detailed study pointing to a repressed demand of 1 million families in February – indicate that this number hit 1.3 million in March.
To reach this result, the Single Registry (Cecad) tabulator of the Ministry of Citizenship was also used.
Of this group, almost eight thousand are homeless families, which, according to the rules of the old Bolsa Família, should have priority in the queue. Another 233,000 have children up to four years old.
Municipalities are responsible for the initial registration of Auxílio Brasil, and are the first to be pressured to grant the benefit.
The Brazilian Basic Income Network (RBRB) says that a new problem is masking the numbers: the formation of the “queue in the queue”. They would be Brazilians in a situation of vulnerability who cannot even complete the registration in the Reference Centers for Social Assistance in the municipalities.
Another obstacle has to do with the damming of already qualified families who are waiting for the benefit to be released.
Auxílio Brasil is the replacement for Bolsa Família (created by the PT), and was designed by President Jair Bolsonaro to be the hallmark of the government this year in which it seeks reelection.
It has a budget of R$ 90 billion for 2022, but not all the benefits planned to end the queue, as approved by Congress, are available in the Budget. In 2023, it will be permanent.
The direction of the RBRB, which brings together more than 150 specialists and entities working in the area, met on Thursday with the command of the Ministry of Citizenship. “Enabling is not a concession”, says the entity’s president, Leandro Ferreira, according to which the ministry’s leaders did not deny figures presented with a queue of more than 1.1 million families.
He explains that, in order to be eligible for the program, families must meet criteria for poverty and extreme poverty. According to Ferreira, this process is being delayed in several ways, including the registration validation itself.
Since May 4, the newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo has been trying to obtain updated information on the balance of Auxílio Brasil qualified people after the April grant, but there is no response from the ministry.
The report found that Minister Ronaldo Vieira Bento is restricting the data.
Due to its electoral potential, this data is sensitive. Bento is a federal police officer and first lieutenant in the Army reserve.
Before taking up the position, he was in the Special Advisory for Strategic Affairs of the Ministry of Citizenship.